History and Doctrines
Church of the Brethren
Otho Winger, A. M., LL. D. President of Manchester
College, Author of "Life of Elder R. H. Miller,"
"The History of the Church of the
Brethren in Indiana."
BRETHREN PUBLISHING HOUSE
STATE HISTORICAL SOC137T
WHO, TWO CENTURIES AGO, BRAVELY LED THAT BAND OF
BRETHREN PILGRIMS FROM THEIR HOMES OF OPPRESSION
IN GERMANY TO THE SHORES OF FREEDOM IN AMERICA,
THROUGH WHOSE LOVING AND EFFICIENT SERVICE THESE
BRETHREN WERE ORGANIZED INTO AN ACTIVE, WORKING
WHO, AMIDST DISCOURAGEMENT WITHIN THE CHURCH, AND
OPPOSITION FROM WITHOUT, FAITHFULLY SERVED HIS
PEOPLE UNTIL OTHER FAITHFUL AND ABLE LEADERS CAME
THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED
Fifteen-hundred-seventeen is the date of the formal
beginning of the Protestant Reformation. At this
time Martin Luther broke completely with the Church
of Rome, and laid the foundation of a movement which
soon spread over Germany and much of Europe. The
spirit of protest against the Catholic Church, smoul-
dering in the hearts of the people, became outspoken at
once. It was the outburst of growing conviction
against a system of religious slavery, emboldened by
the daring act of Luther. The deepest and sincerest
religious agitation quickly followed ; in some cases,
however, it was wild and visionary. The people, with
liberty of conscience, studied the Word of God to know
the way ; they besought God for light and guidance as
never before. It was the time of heart-searching,
when the people sought God in spirit and in truth.
Out of this condition the early Protestant churches
were born. Two hundred years after the beginning of
the Reformation, and as the " most ardent product of
it," the Church of the Brethren organized at Schwar-
zenau, Germany, in 1708, with a membership of eight —
five men and three women. It is a matter of regret
that a complete history of these eight souls previous
to their organization, and the travail of soul that led
up to it, is not available. However, it is known that
they were Protestant in faith and confession ; that, in
fact, they were members of Protestant churches previ-
ous to their organization ; but with their further study
of the Word of God, they felt convinced that the reli-
gious organizations at hand did not teach and main-
tain the sum of doctrines taught by Jesus and the
apostles ; and having pledged themselves to follow the
Bible wherever it leads, and at whatever cost, they felt
that nothing was left them but to organize on " the
foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus
himself being the chief corner stone."
The present volume is a history of this beginning,
with its growth and the multiplication of its agencies.
It is a Herculean task, for the people whose history it
seeks to give did not keep full records in their begin-
nings ; nor did they until the last generation. All those
who have attempted a history of the Taufer movement
have been handicapped for want of complete records.
And all these histories must be considered as wanting
in many respects, therefore. However, the present
volume shows painstaking care and research to dis-
cover the facts, and it presents them in a clear,
straightforward manner, easily within the grasp of
the common reader.
Chapters One and Two give the bare facts relating
to the church's beginnings in Germany and America.
Nevertheless, enough is said to show the church's
strong background in both countries.
Chapters Three and Four, on the colonial church
and its growth and expansion westward, will be found
full of interest. These chapters give more matter in
connected order on these two points than can be found
in print elsewhere. And while the growth of the
church has been slow, the story, as told, makes a good
appeal — the right appeal.
Chapter Five gives the sad story of the divisions in
the church. It is a distressing commentary, but a
history of the church would be incomplete without it,
and the story is clearly told.
Chapter Six is a good, continuous, exhaustive state-
ment of the growth of missions in the church. It
shows how our fathers were distinctly missionary in
the beginning; how the missionary interest, with other
interests, declined after the Revolutionary War and
the pioneer life of those days; how the missionary
spirit began to reassert itself about the middle of the
last century; how it struggled for recognition and
support ; and how marvelously it has grown during the
last quarter of a century, all of which gives much hope
for the future.
Chapter Seven is the interesting history of the pub-
lications of the church. It shows the tremendous in-
fluence exerted by the printing press, and the front
rank of our people in this business from their begin-
ning in America. It shows how the business has
prospered and grown since it has been owned and con-
trolled by the church, until it has become one of its
leading interests; while the Brethren Publishing
House is one of the first institutions of its kind.
Chapter Eight tells of the rise and fall of education
in the church. The Taufer movement in its begin-
nings in Germany and America was led by some of the
best-trained men of their day. In colonial days they
were among the leading supporters of liberal educa-
tion. But this interest suffered the same unfortunate
setback given the missionary interest, and from the
same causes. It was killed so dead that it took it
three-quarters of a century to revive. Its struggles
and failures, its ups and downs since the middle of the
last century, and how the movement has at last found
permanent footing and success, are well told.
Chapter Nine states the Sunday-school situation.
Its history is the same in many respects as missions
and education. These three interests are yoked to-
gether in the history of the Church of the Brethren.
It is shown to be one of the largest and most important
agencies in the church, for it is the biggest organized
movement in the world for the dissemination of Bible
knowledge and the development of the youth of the
Chapter Ten explains the origin and workings of the
Annual Conference. It is a brief story, well told.
Chapter Eleven gives the form of church govern-
ment maintained in the church, showing how each
member has equal rights and privileges with all the
rest, and how the church as a body makes its own
government — a complete democracy.
Chapter Twelve, on Christian life and worship,
touches vital things. It is a fine summary of prin-
ciples. It will be studied with much profit.
Chapter Thirteen discusses the ordinances and doc-
trines of the church. It will be considered, no doubt,
the great chapter of the book ; not from a historical
point of view, but in thought and teaching. The treat-
ment is brief, suggestive ; not exhaustive. It must be
accepted as orthodox and safe, and will serve as the
beginning of the larger study of church doctrine.
Chapter Fourteen gives a few biographies, well writ-
ten, and Chapter Fifteen is given to bibliography in
order that the volume may be of the greatest service
The author was born of German, Scotch-Irish and
English blood, strains of blood conspicuous for the il-
lustrious men they have given to the world. From
his earliest childhood his chief interests have been in
the church and school.
His religious and church life is not less than re-
markable. At the age of ten he consecrated his life
to the Master and his service, and became a member
of the Church of the Brethren. At eighteen he was
chosen deacon; at nineteen he was elected to the min-
istry ; at twenty-one he was advanced to the second
degree; and at thirty-three, in 1910, he was ordained
bishop, and during these years he has served in al-
most every position in the gift of the church. He is at
present a member of the General Mission Board.
His educational and school life is no less remarkable
than his religious and church life. At the age of seven-
teen he was able to pass the examination for teachers
and to teach public school. From 1898 to 1902 he was
a student in Manchester College. From 1903 to 1907
he was superintendent of the schools at Sweetsers
and Hope, Ind. Hungry and thirsty for better train-
ing, he entered Indiana University, graduated in 1905,
and two years later received his A. M. from the same
institution. He received the LL. D. degree from Mt.
Morris College in 1918. In 1907 he entered, as a
teacher, Manchester College, where he still remains.
In 1910 he became vice-president and in 1911 he was
made president of the college, which position he still
holds. And during his administration the college has
had unusual prosperity. Harmony of action has been
established and the large resources belonging to the
institution have been marshaled. The college prom-
ises much for the church and the people of its terri-
The author is yet a young man and has a multitude
of cares and responsibilities upon him, yet he has
found time to write books. In 1909 he brought out
the Life of Elder R. H. Miller, and in 1917 a History of
the Church of the Brethren in Indiana. The present
volume is the third he has written.
And so, it may be said, the author is distinctly a man
of the church and people he serves. He knows them,
he loves them, he serves them, all with loyal devotion.
From this viewpoint the volume is written. It is the
voice of one speaking to those of his own company.
And his scholarship gives ample warrant of his ability
to write the history of the Church of the Brethren.
H. C. EARLY.
The suggestion for the publication of this book
came from the felt need of a book for my classes deal-
ing with the history and doctrines of the Church of
the Brethren. The early history of the church has
been well written by Dr. M. G. Brumbaugh. Certain
aspects of later church history have been finely told
by different authors. Almost every question concern-
ing the doctrines and practices of the church has been
discussed in various books, papers and pamphlets. But
there has been no general work in Brethren literature
giving a connected account of Brethren history, to-
gether with a general view of Brethren doctrines.
Two Centuries, a collection of the bicentennial ad-
dresses delivered at the Conference of 1908, is the
nearest approach to such a work. But these excellent
addresses were largely prepared for oral delivery; and
with twenty-three different authors, this book could
hardly be expected to meet, today, the needs of the
student or reader who desires a general and connected
It is not the claim that this book will meet all of the
above needs, but it is the hope of the author that it
will be helpful. The book has not been written alto-
gether from original-source material. The author has
drawn freely from others who have done this excellent
and difficult work of research. Where quotations from
other works would give the desired information, these
quotations have been freely used. It has been the pur-
pose to give proper acknowledgment wherever pos-
Table of Contents
I Origin of the Church of the Brethren in Europe 15
II Establishing the Church in America 23
III The Colonial Church 47
IV Expansion and Growth, 59
V Disunion and Divisions, 93
VI The Church and Missions 117
VII Church Publications, 147
VIII The Church and Education 159
IX Sunday-schools, 179
X Annual Meetings 187
XI Church Polity 199
XII Christian Life and Worship 213
XIII Church Doctrines and Ordinances, 231
XIV Biography 255
XV Bibliography 295
Origin of the Church of the Brethren in Europe
The Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth cen-
tury was a great religious movement that overthrew
the absolute power that the Roman Catholic Church
had held in Europe for a thousand years. It began as
an agitation on the part of earnest, thinking men to
reform many of the practices of the church, and purify
the lives of its members. It ended in a great revolt of
many nations who broke away from the Roman
Church and organized new religious bodies.
State Churches. Martin Luther was the most prom-
inent leader of this movement. But John Calvin,
Zwingli, and others were very influential leaders in
their respective countries. These men advocated some
views that radically conflicted. Each one drew a fol-
lowing such as the temper of the people, or as the
social and political conditions of the times, helped to
determine. On the other hand, a counter reformation
within the Catholic Church won many back to the old
church and caused bitter resistance to the new creeds.
These religious differences, combined with social and
political troubles, resulted in many bloody conflicts.
In Germany this conflict was known as " The Thirty
Years' War," which endedwith the treaty of West-
phalia in 1648. The chief provision of this treaty was
that recognition and protection were given to three
churches, Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed. Each
16 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
prince or ruler was to determine which one of these
churches was to be the church in his territory. When
this church was chosen, no other form of religion was
to be allowed. All who dissented from this State Church
were liable to persecution.
In thus denying freedom of conscience in reading
God's Word and in divine worship, both Lutherans and
Calvinists were denying to others what they them-
selves had demanded in their revolt from the Catholic
Church. Under these conditions and restrictions re-
ligion was bound to become shallow and formal. Lit-
tle true vital piety and spirituality were manifest. In
some places there was more corruption within the
ranks of the Protestant churches than within the
Catholic Church itself. This condition of things
brought much sorrow to earnest, thinking men and
The Pietists. This was the name given to that class
of persons in Germany who sought to revive declining
piety in the Protestant churches. They deplored doc-
trinal differences, and had more or less contempt for
outward ecclesiastical arrangements. They were
earnest students of the Bible. They exalted the spir-
itual life and practical Christian living. They did not
seek to organize a separate church, but hoped to purify
the lives of professing Christians.
Only a few of the leaders of this movement can be
named here. Pietistic views were largely formulated
and made impressive by Philip Jacob Spener, who in
1675 published a book that had a wide influence. Aug-
ust Hermann Francke was a very spiritual preacher
and a professor at the University of Halle, which had
been much influenced by pietistic teaching. Gottfried
ORIGIN OF CHURCH IN EUROPE 17
Arnold, professor of church history at Geissen, and
later court historian to Frederick I„ wrote several
books that upheld pietistic beliefs. Jeremias Felbing-
er, a man of much learning, translated the New Testa-
ment into German, and wrote an important work, The
Christian Handbook. Ernest Christopher Hochmann,
who was educated at Halle, and persecuted in many
places for his spiritual teachings, finally found a safe
retreat at Schwarzenau, where he spent his last days.
" Among the direct beneficial results of the Pietistic
movement it is fair to name: (1) The founding of the
University of Halle in 1694, and the founding of the
Orphanage by Francke. (2) The reorganizing of mod-
ern missions. Lutken, who was educated at Halle,
was appointed court preacher of Denmark. He pre-
vailed upon the king to send a preacher to the heathen
in India. Accordingly, Ziegenbald was sent in 1706 at
the king's expense. (3) The founding of the Brethren
Church at Schwarzenau in 1708." — Two Centuries,
The Pietists and the Brethren. Another man, often
mentioned as one of the Pietists, was Alexander Mack,
founder of the Church of the Brethren. If ever he
counted himself as one of them he did not remain one.
But it is true that he was very much influenced by
these godly men.
Gottfried Arnold, in his book, A Genuine Portraiture
of the Primitive Christians, upheld many of the doc-
trines which Mack later emphasized. Jeremias Fel-
binger, in his Christian Handbook, argued against in-
fant baptism, the civil oath, and argued for immersion
and feet-washing. But most of all did Hochmann in-
fluence the founder of this new church. He and Mack
18 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
held much in common. But Hochmann was a Puritan
rather than a Separatist. He could not see that it was
best to organize a separate church. On the other
hand Mack could not see how the New Testament or-
dinances could be observed in any of the existing
church bodies. Hochmann's confession of faith, writ-
ten in prison in 1702, was well known to Mack and
perhaps used by him later on in preparing his book in
defence of the church.
" During all this time Alexander Mack was a careful
student of the Bible and of all theological works. He
knew the history of the church from the Apostolic
age to his own time. Convinced at last that it was
impossible to live in the organized churches and equal-
ly impossible to please God by remaining a Separatist,
he resolved to organize a new church, based upon
primitive Christianity and honoring the ordinances
as commanded by Christ." — Brumbaugh's History,
Organization of the Church of the Brethren. " As-
sociated with Mack at Schwarzenau, in the province
of Wittgenstein, was an earnest little body of seekers
after truth. They mutually agreed to lay aside all
human creeds, confessions of faith and catechisms, and
to give themselves individually, by prayer and the
help of the Holy Spirit, to the search for truth in
God's Book, and having found it to follow it wherever
it might lead them. As a result of this devotional
study, they were led to adopt the New Testament as
their rule of faith and practice and to declare in favor
of a literal observance of all of the commandments of
our dear Savior. Surely they came to a wise conclu-
sion. They found a safe rock on which to build.
ORIGIN OF CHURCH IN EUROPE 21
born and Epstein. In this congregation John Naas
was bishop in charge, assisted by Christian Libe.
Other ministers at Creyfeld were Peter Becker,
Stephen Koch, John Henry Trout and Heinrich Hol-
This church and its members also endured much
persecution. In 1714 six members of the Reformed
Church were baptized. This raised a storm of protest
and persecution directed by the State Church. These
six brethren were imprisoned for four years, enduring
great hardships and compelled to perform the most
menial labor. The ministers, too, were persecuted.
Elder John Naas, a man of large physical build, was
seized by the king's agents and tortured most severe-
ly to make him consent to enter the regiment of giant
soldiers. He was released by the king himself, after
declaring boldly his allegiance to Jesus Christ as his
King. Christian Libe also had endured bitter persecu-
tion. Before coming to Creyfeld, while preaching in
Switzerland, he was arrested and asked to renounce
his faith. When he refused he was sent to the galleys,
where he spent two years at hard service before he
But persecution did not hinder the work of the
church as much as did internal dissension. A young
minister named Hacker dared to marry outside of the
church. Through the influence of Christian Libe he
was expelled, though this action was opposed by many,
especially by John Naas. The results of this unfortu-
nate affair were many. It was estimated by one of
their number that a hundred people were kept from
joining the church. Elder Naas was so much grieved
that he withdrew to Switzerland, where, after many
22 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
years, he was located by Alexander Mack and induced
to come to America. After this the Creyfeld church
did not prosper. Christian Libe, though at times very
enthusiastic, was not a wise elder. He became indif-
ferent, married outside the church, became a wine
merchant, and finally withdrew altogether. The con-
gregation gradually declined and became disorganized.
The members either followed the other Brethren to
America or left the church altogether.
At Westervain, West Friesland, in the north of Hol-
land, west of the Zuyder Zee, the Schwarzenau con-
gregation found a refuge in 1720. Here they remained
for nine years under the care of Alexander Mack.
Some Hollanders joined the church. Then, under
Mack's leadership, most of the congregation, one hun-
dred and twenty-six persons in all, emigrated to America
and came to Germantown.
With Mack's departure, the Church of the Brethren
practically ceased to exist in Europe. There were a
few scattered members left, but the center of interest
shifts to America.
Topics and References for Further Study
1. The Pietists.
Brumbaugh's History of the Brethren, chapter II.
Holsinger's History of the Tunkers, pp. 30-34.
2. Organization of the Church in Germany.
Brumbaugh's History of the Brethren, chapter III.
T. T. Myers in Two Centuries, pp. 27-39.
3. Mack's Book in Defense of the Church.
Holsinger's History of the Tunkers, chapter IV.
Flory's Literary Activities, pp. 169-182.
4. Names of the Members Who Joined the Church in Europe.
Brumbaugh's History of the Brethren, chapter V.
Establishing the Church in America
Immigrations. The year 1719 is a memorable date
in the history of the Church of the Brethren. In that
year, Peter Becker, at the head of twenty families from
the Creyfeld congregation in Germany, after a long and
stormy voyage, landed at Philadelphia. This is about all
we know about the event itself, except that on the jour-
ney some of the questions that had caused dissensions in
Europe were again agitated to such an extent that, when
the Brethren landed, the families settled in different locali-
ties instead of remaining close together and organizing a
The second notable immigration was in 1729, when
Alexander Mack, at the head of the Westervain congre-
gation, including one hundred and twenty-six persons,
crossed the Atlantic and landed at Philadelphia, Septem-
ber 15. Unlike the first party of immigrants, Mack's
party found an organized church and those of like faith
ready to welcome them to a church home.
Those who came later, came singly or by families. One
of the most noted of these was Elder John Naas, who
came in 1733. It was not many years until nearly all of
the faithful members in Europe had come to America.
The First Congregation. The Germantown church
is the mother congregation of the Church of the Brethren
in America. It was to Germantown that Peter Becker
and his company came in 1719. Then the families scat-
24 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
tered and remained unorganized for three years. In
1722 Peter Becker, with two brethren, made a visit to
the scattered members. This visit did much to cause the
members to forget their troubles and reawakened their
zeal for spiritual things. They now began to hold some
meetings in the homes.
In August, 1723, there was spread a false rumor that
Christian Libe had arrived in Philadelphia. Many of the
settlers came to hear him preach. They did not hear
Christian Libe, but Peter Becker invited some of them to
come to his house and preached the Gospel to them.
From this time the members and others became very
much interested. On Christmas Day, 1723, the first
fruits of this mission work were gathered, when Martin
Urner and wife, Henry Landes and wife, Frederick Long
and John Mayle applied for membership and were bap-
tized by Peter Becker in Wissahickon Creek. These were
the first members baptized by the Brethren in America.
On the same evening occurred the first love-feast held
in America. Twenty-three communed. The meeting was
held at the house of John Gommery. On this day, too,
the Germantown congregation was formally organized
and Peter Becker was selected as its first elder.
Home Mission Work. This newly-organized church
manifested true missionary zeal by bearing witness to the
truth among the pioneers. Peter Becker, at the head of
a small mission band of fourteen, seven on foot, seven on
horse, selected by the congregation, began the first organ-
ized mission work of the church in America. It began
October 23, 1724. The purpose was both pastoral and
evangelistic. They visited the scattered members, en-
couraged those who believed and preached the Gospel to
ESTABLISHING CHURCH IN AMERICA 25
the unconverted. Love-feasts were held at different
The missionary party made visits to Indian Creek,
Falckner's Swamp, Oley and Schuylkill. At the last
place lived Martin Urner, who, since his baptism the year
before, had been exhorting his neighbors to righteous-
ness. Here a love-feast was held November 8. At this
time the Coventry church was organized with nine mem-
bers. Martin Urner was called to be their minister.
Hearing that there were earnest souls in the Conestoga
country, who were searching for the truth, the party
continued the journey. On November 12 a meeting was
held at the home of Henry Hahn. Five persons asked
for baptism. So impressive was the service that when
these had been baptized another sister came forward. To
complete the events of this remarkable day, Conrad Beis-
sel, who had witnessed all of this, could not resist the
ordinance of God longer, and received baptism at the
hand of his old friend, Peter Becker. That evening a
blessed love-feast was held.
The next Sunday two more were baptized. On this
occasion began the custom of asking whether any objec-
tions could be given against receiving applicants for bap-
tism. At this time the twelve members here were organ-
ized into the Conestoga congregation. Conrad Beissel
was called to the ministry.
The missionary party now returned to their German-
town homes. The tour had been a remarkable one. As
immediate results there were eleven baptisms, two con-
gregations organized and two ministers elected. By this
missionary journey a great precedent was established.
The early church was a missionary church. On and on
through the pioneer settlements the Brethren ministers
26 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
pushed forward, witnessing for Christ, comforting the
scattered saints, baptizing believers, organizing churches
and enlarging the kingdom of God.
The Ephrata Society. The Church of the Brethren
in America had the unfortunate experience of a division
in its membership at an early date. Conrad Beissel was
baptized in 1724 by Elder Peter Becker and was called
to the ministry in the Conestoga church. Previous to
this he had a remarkable experience. He had known the
Brethren in Europe. There he was persecuted as a
Pietist and fled to America. Here again he came
under the influence of the Brethren, serving for a time
as an apprentice to Peter Becker, who by trade was a
weaver. For a while preceding his baptism by Becker
he had lived the life of a hermit.
Beissel had not been very well indoctrinated, and some
influences from his early experience soon bore fruit in
strange teachings. He began by advocating the seventh
day as the Sabbath. Then he denounced the marriage
state and strongly advocated the Mosaic law. This led
to controversies with the Brethren. In 1728 he broke
completely with the church and was rebaptized by one of
his followers. This at once caused a division in the
Conestoga church; a part went with Beissel and a part
remained true to the church. Just at this time Alexander
Mack came to America. He and others made strong
efforts for a reconciliation with Beissel, but without avail.
In 1732 Beissel left his church and went eight miles
away on the banks of Cocalico Creek, where he once
more became a hermit. Some of his friends, both men
and women, resorted to him. A house was built for the
sisters who took the vow of virginity. Ephrata was thus
begun. Leaving his hermit retreat, Beissel now made
ESTABLISHING CHURCH IN AMERICA 27
proselyting trips through the Brethren congregations.
Some of his teachings so much resembled those of the
Brethren, and his manner of presentation was so attrac-
tive, that many were induced to follow him. Even some
very influential men were drawn to Ephrata. Among
these were several ministers of the church. The loss of
these members was serious for the church at this time.
Much of the colonial church history was affected by this
society. To many people outside the church, the doc-
trines and practices of this society were taken as repre-
senting the things that the Tunker Brethren advocated.
Colonial Congregations. A brief sketch of the
churches organized during colonial days will give the
background of the history of the colonial church, its work
and its workers. The basis for most of these facts is a
work by Rev. Morgan Edwards, written in 1770, and
known as Materials Toward a History of the American
Baptists. Those who have written of this period have
drawn largely from him, though some have discovered
much additional information.
Germantown. The first congregation organized had
some very trying experiences. When Alexander Mack
arrived in 1729 he found the church much agitated over
the Beissel Schism. Mack earnestly desired peace and
made faithful efforts to bring Beissel back into the fold,
but the latter would hear to nothing.
Under Mack's leadership the Germantown church took
on new life and vigor. From this center workers went
out and established a number of new churches. Peter
Becker had been the elder in charge at Germantown, but
after Mack's coming the latter naturally became the
leader, though he and Becker worked together very har-
28 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
moniously. Mack did not live long. His death in 1735
was unfortunate for the church.
After Mack's death trouble broke out anew. Peter
Becker, though an excellent man and a good elder, was
not fitted to cope successfully with the schism. Beissel
became quite active in proselyting. He won to his cause
some of the main workers at Germantown, including
Stephen Koch, John Henry Kalcglasser, and, for a while,
even Alexander Mack, Jr. In 1738 eighteen members
left the Germantown church and moved to Ephrata.
Some of these later returned, but most of them were lost
to the church.
Peter Becker continued for many years in charge of
the congregation. In 1748 two able men, Christopher
Sower, Jr., and Alexander Mack, Jr., were called to the
ministry and given joint oversight on trial. Both were
advanced to the eldership, June 10, 1753. For thirty
years they labored together for the welfare of the church.
Mack lived nearly twenty years after his colaborer passed
away. Because of the leadership of these noted men, the
Germantown church holds a unique place in the history
of the Brethren.
From 1722 to 1732 meetings were held in private
homes. In 1732 Christopher Sower, Sr., built a large
house, so arranged that different rooms could be
thrown together into a large audience room. Here
the Brethren worshiped until 1760, when they secured
the Pettikoffer house, at what was then called
Beggarstown, two miles north of early German-
town. This house was changed into an audience room
and was used as a place of worship ten years. In
1770 the membership, fifty-seven in number, erected a
stone meetinghouse, thirty-two feet square, at the rear of
ESTABLISHING CHURCH IN AMERICA 29
the Pettikoffer house. This house, with changes and
additions, continues to this day as the house of worship
for the oldest congregation among the Brethren.
Coventry. This is the second oldest congregation
in America. Here lived Martin Urner, who was the first
person baptized by the Brethren in America. The work
was started here by Peter Becker on his missionary tour
in 1724. For five years Peter Becker did most of the
preaching. He was assisted by Martin Urner, who was
ordained by Alexander Mack in 1729. The two Martin
Urners and George Adam Martin gave this church a
strong ministry in colonial days. Many were added to
the church. Many also were lost to the church. Some
joined the Ephrata Society and others emigrated to pio-
neer settlements in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
In 1770 there were forty members. In 1772 they built
their first meetinghouse, just two years after the German-
town house was built. This congregation has continued
to prosper to the present time.
Conestoga, in Lancaster County, the third congrega-
tion in America, was organized by Peter Becker on his
missionary tour of 1724. Conrad Beissel was their min-
ister for four years. When he left the church in 1728 he
took many of the members with him. Peter Pecker
looked after the faithful members until 1734, when a re-
organization was effected and Michael Frantz was called
to the ministry. He proved a most efficient leader. The
next year he was ordained and took full charge of the
church. He spent the remaining twelve years of his life
in faithful service. During this time the congregation
grew from twenty to two hundred. Michael Frantz was
succeeded by Michael Pfouts, who also was quite suc-
cessful. In 1770 it was the largest colonial church, num-
30 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
bering eighty-six, though it was estimated that nearly
four hundred had been baptized there. This church has
continued to the present and claims many other congre-
gations as her children. Ten years ago Elder J. G. Royer
wrote : " What can we say for colonial Conestoga to-
day? — for we still have her with us. Her territory has
been divided and subdivided until there are now within
her original boundary twenty congregations with a mem-
bership of nearly five thousand souls. Nineteen more
colonial Conestogas added would give us 100,000 souls."
— Two Centuries, page 78.
Oley, in Berks County, had been visited in 1724 by
the mission band. A number of members joined the
church here. An organization was effected in 1732. The
church prospered for a while. But the Ephrata move-
ment and the Moravian missionaries claimed many of the
adherents. In 1770 there were only twenty members, in-
cluding two ministers, Martin Gaby and John Joder. In
1777 the Pricetown meetinghouse was built. It is still
standing and has the distinction of being the oldest un-
altered meetinghouse in the Brotherhood, and perhaps
the oldest building of its kind in the United States. — His-
tory of Eastern Pennsylvania, pp. 475-484.
Great Swamp, in Bucks County, was organized in
1733. During the early years Peter Becker, Martin
Urner and John Naas preached in this vicinity and bap-
tized members. It is here that Martin Urner, in 1737, at
the suggestion of George Adam Martin, first read
Matthew eighteen at the time of baptism. In this church
Abraham Buboy located in 1738. He was one of the
ministers in Europe. He labored faithfully here until
his death in 1748. In 1770 there were twenty-eight mem-
ESTABLISHING CHURCH IN AMERICA 31
bers. The work, later on, ceased and the territory of this
church was included in the Springfield church.
Lancaster County had three colonial churches : Con-
estoga, White Oak and Swatara. Conestoga has al-
ready been described. White Oak was organized in
1736. For many years Michael Frantz and Michael
Pfouts ministered to the flock here. Christian Longen-
ecker and John Zug were ministers and elders here in
colonial days. In 1770 there was a membership of
Great Swatara (now in Dauphin County) was organ-
ized in 1756. Michael Pfouts was their first elder.
George Miller and Adam Hammaker were their resident
ministers. In 1770 there were thirty-nine members.
Berks County had three colonial churches : Oley,
Northkill and Little Swatara. Oley has been described.
Northkill was organized in 1748. Elder George Kline
presided over this congregation for more than twenty
years. In 1770 there were only eleven members. Little
Swatara was organized in 1757 by Elder George Kline.
In 1770 there were forty-five members.
York County had four colonial congregations : Con-
ewago, Little Conewago, Codorus and Bermudian.
The Conewago congregations were the result of the
first organized efforts west of the Susquehanna. Little
Conewago was organized in 1738 by Elder Daniel Leath-
erman. At Conewago, fourteen miles from York, George
Adam Martin was the first minister. When he left the
church, Elder Leatherman ministered to this congrega-
tion until he moved to Maryland in 1757. He was suc-
ceeded by Elder Nicholas Martin, who also moved to
Maryland. These churches grew in numbers. In 1770
the Little Conewago church had a membership of fifty-
32 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
two and the Conewago church had a membership of
seventy-seven. Next to the Conestoga church it was the
largest of the colonial organizations.
Codorus was organized in 1758 by Elder Jacob Dan-
ner, who later moved to Maryland. Henry Neff suc-
ceeded Elder Danner and was ordained in 1770. In
that year there were thirty-five members.
The Bermudian congregation was organized in 1758
by Conrad Beissel. Peter Miller and George Adam Martin
preached here. " It will thus be seen that the Bermudian
congregation was in the first place under the control of
Beissel influence. After the death of Beissel, and Peter
Miller ceased to visit the place, and Martin removed to
Stony Creek, in Bedford, the congregation passed under
the influence of the Brethren and has so remained until
the present day." — Falkenstein's History, page 100. In
1770 there were fifty-eight members.
Stony Creek, in Bedford County, had a history simi-
lar to Bermudian. The work was begun here in 1762 by
George Adam Martin. He had moved from the Cone-
wago settlement to Antietam. Here he could not agree
with the Brethren and so moved to Stony Creek. He was
an advocate of Beissel's views, and the first members
here accepted them, too. After Martin's death the mem-
bers identified themselves with the Brethren. Stony
Creek was the most western of the colonial churches.
For many years of its history we have no records. But
today in Bedford and Somerset Counties there are many
Antietam, in Franklin County, Pa., was organized
by 1752. William Stover and George Adam Martin
were the ministers. Martin left the church and moved to
Bedford County. William Stover ministered to the
ESTABLISHING CHURCH IN AMERICA 33
early church. It endured many hardships and dangers
because of the Indians. But the church grew in numbers
and sent forth members to start other churches. Elder
Jacob Miller, who first preached for the Brethren in
Virginia, was called to the ministry here before 1765.
Their first house of worship was built in 1708. The
pioneer preacher, William Stover, was the great-grand-
father of Elder Wilbur B. Stover of India and of Elder
H. M. Stover, one of the present elders of the Antietam
church. This congregation has grown to be the largest
in the Brotherhood.
Amwell, in New Jersey, organized in 1733, is one of
the oldest of Brethren congregations. Elder John Naas
located here and labored earnestly until his death in 1741.
John Bechleshammer was elected before 1738 and suc-
ceeded John Naas to the eldership. The church pros-
pered and became the spiritual birthplace of many mem-
bers who have emigrated West to form other congrega-
tions. In 1790 there were forty-six members, with
William Housel and Abraham Lawshe ministers.
Maryland had at least two colonial churches. In
1758 Elder Martin Urner, Jr., organized a congregation
of the few members living in the Pipe Creek settle-
ments. Martin Urner himself never moved here, but
his son, John Urner, did and later became the presiding
bishop. Elder Daniel Leatherman moved to Maryland
in 1757. Three years later he organized the Middle-
town Valley church and was its presiding bishop for
thirty years. By 1778 the membership in Maryland
was strong enough that the Annual Meeting was held
at Pipe Creek.
Leaders in the Colonial Church. All of the able
leaders of the Church of the Brethren in Europe, except
34 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Christian Libe, emigrated to America. Among them were
men of great ability and worthy of being familiarly
known and gratefully remembered by their followers to-
day. They not only had influence in the Church of the
Brethren, but some of them exerted unusual influence on
general colonial history.
Alexander Mack, Sr. The leading spirit in the or-
ganization of the Church of the Brethren was Alexander
Mack. He was born at Schriesheim, Germany, in 1679,
of a wealthy family. He was raised in the Reformed
faith. He received a good education. He engaged in the
milling business and came to possess much property at
Schriesheim. In 1700 he was married to Anna Marga-
retha Klingin. To them were born five children, three
sons and two daughters.
He was a man of deep thought and piety. He soon
became dissatisfied with the coldness and formality of
the state churches. He became a Separatist. This
brought to him persecution. He fled to Schwarzenau,
where he found many other earnest seekers for truth.
The result of his study and bold leadership was the or-
ganization of the Church of the Brethren, of which he
was the first baptized member, and the first minister. He
was a faithful and efficient shepherd. Though he was
rich, yet he became poor in helping the persecuted Breth-
ren. When he had lost all, he himself had to flee to other
places of safety.
In 1720 he led his flock to Westervain, where he cared
for them nine years. In 1729 he brought most of them to
America. Here he found a safe retreat. But his heart
was saddened by the Beissel Schism. He did all he could
to heal the breach and yet maintain the true doctrine for
which he had given up so much.
ESTABLISHING CHURCH IN AMERICA 35
He was an able defender of the faith. In 1713 he
published two books, Rites and Ordinances of the House
of God, and Ground Searching Questions. The former
is a concise statement of the faith and practice of the
Brethren. The latter consists of answers to thirty-nine
questions sent to him. In these two books he explained
to the world the faith and practice of his people. He
was a strong leader. He did not live long after coming
to America, but he has stamped his genius upon his peo-
ple. He died in 1735.
Brumbaugh's History, pp. 71-100.
Some Who Led, pp. 9-12.
Falkenstein's History, pp. 67-72.
Flory's Literary Activity, pp. 163-180.
Peter Becker, 1687-1758. To Peter Becker, more
than to any other person, is the credit due for the suc-
cessful organization of the Church of the Brethren in
He was born at Delheim, Germany. Like Alexander
Mack, he was raised a Reformed. He joined the Breth-
ren at Creyfeld, where he was called to the ministry.
He was greatly grieved over the division at Creyfeld,
due to the course taken by Christian Libe. This was
perhaps the leading cause for his organizing the emigra-
tion party to America. He and his people landed at
Philadelphia in the fall of 1719.
Peter Becker was the leading spirit in America for ten
years. He made the first pastoral visit in 1722. He
officiated at the first baptisms, council and love- feast in
1724. He was chosen the first elder of the Germantown
church, over which he presided for more than twenty
years, part of the time with Alexander Mack. He was
the first home missionary and organized the first
36 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
churches in 1724. He stood firm and true to the church
in the great Beissel Schism. He personally ministered
to many of these pioneer Brethren settlements, and
through his faithful preaching many were brought into
the church and remained faithful. " He was perhaps the
most gifted singer and the most eloquent man in prayer
in the colonial church. He was not an effective speaker,
but he was of sound judgment, great moderation and
sufficient tact to manage successfully the mighty burdens
laid upon him."
He was married to Anna Dorothy Partman. To this
union were born two daughters — Mary, who married
Rudolph Harley, and Elizabeth, who married Jacob
Stump. They have many descendants in the United
States today. He was a weaver by trade. At German-
town he owned a small farm. In 1746 his wife died and
he went to live with his daughter, Mary. He spent the
last twelve years of his life in the Indian Creek church.
To this godly man the Church of the Brethren will
ever look with a feeling of gratitude and respect. It is a
fitting tribute to his memory that the 1919 Conference at
Winona Lake should be named for him as the Becker
Bicentennial Meeting. For the same purpose the author
is pleased to dedicate this book to him.
Brumbaugh's History, pp. 191-211.
Some Who Led, pp. 16-17.
John Naas, 1670-1741, was second in ability to none,
of all the colonial ministers. He was born in Westphalia,
Germany, twelve miles north of Emden. He possessed
much native ability and received a good education. He
joined the Creyfeld congregation, where he was soon
called to the ministry. He went far and near on mis-
sionary tours and was very successful in bringing souls
ESTABLISHING CHURCH IN AMERICA 37
into the kingdom. At Creyfeld he was a wise and toler-
ant leader in the church. He opposed the narrow policy
of Christian Libe and his followers, and for some years
retired to Switzerland from active work.
In 1733 he came to America, perhaps at the invitation
of Alexander Mack. In a letter to his son he has given
a most vivid account of the horror of the sea voyages in
those days. He was welcomed at Germantown, but
settled at Amwell, N. J., where he was the organizer and
elder of the Amwell church. He also organized the
Great Swamp church. His influence for good was felt
in many of the colonial churches. He visited Ephrata in
1736, hoping to effect a reconciliation with Beissel. In
this he failed, but was much impressed with many things
he saw at Ephrata.
Elder Naas was a broad-minded, large-hearted man.
He was most eloquent in preaching. He was a writer
of many good poems, which were collected and pub-
lished under the title, The Little Harp. He was of
powerful physical build, being nearly a head taller
than the ordinary man. For this reason he was one
time seized by the agents of the Prussian king, who de-
sired just such men for his regiment of giants. After
cruel torture, to force his compliance, he was brought be-
fore the king himself, who released him after hearing his
earnest profession of loyalty to Jesus Christ.
He was twice married, and had three children. Only
one daughter came to America. She married Hannes
Landes, who, after a short stay with Beissel at Ephrata,
became a faithful member of the Conestoga church.
Elder Naas was buried in the cemetery at Amwell, though
no stone marks his grave.
38 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Brumbaugh's History, pp. 100-130.
Eastern Pennsylvania, pp. 196-198.
Some Who Led, pp. 13-15.
Alexander Mack, Jr., January 25, 1712 — March 20,
1803. He was the eldest of three sons of Alexander
Mack, Sr. He was born at Schwarzenau and raised in
the Brethren faith. He was given a good education. He
came with his father to Germantown in 1729. He had
united with the church the year before and now became
an active young member in the Germantown church.
After the death of his father, in 1735, young Mack be-
came depressed in spirits. Stephen Koch took quite an
interest in him and for a while they lived a secluded life.
In 1738 both of them were in the party who left the
Germantown church and moved to Ephrata. Here he
remained ten years, but became dissatisfied. After some
varied experiences he returned to Germantown, where he
was restored to fellowship and to the confidence of the
Alexander Mack, Jr., and Christopher Sower, Jr., were
called to the ministry June 7, 1748. Five years later,
Tune 10, 1753, they were ordained to the eldership. For
fifty years Mack served the Germantown church in an
efficient and satisfactory manner. He was not a powerful
speaker, but had great influence because of his quiet,
spiritual life and tactful leadership. He was strong
against worldliness, but slow to dismiss an erring one
from membership until all means of effort and prayer
He had great influence through his pen ministry.
Many of his letters to his brethren have been preserved.
He wrote many treatises defending the doctrines of the
church. He was the most voluminous writer of hymns
ESTABLISHING CHURCH IN AMERICA 39
and poems in the early church. These were collected by
Dr. S. B. Heckman and published in 1912.
Mack was married in 1749 to Elizabeth Nice. To them
were born two sons and six daughters. They have many
descendants in the church today. He, like Peter Becker,
was a weaver by trade, but owned a farm near German-
town. He lived to be ninety-one years old, but main-
tained much vigor of body and intellect until the last.
He never lost interest in the church and its members.
He was much loved and respected by all who knew him.
Brumbaugh's History, pp. 211-273.
Some Who Led, pp. 23-26.
Religious Poetry of Alexander Mack, by Heckman.
Christopher Sower, Sr., 1693-1758. He was born at
Laasphe, Wittgenstein of Westphalia, in Germany. He
early became acquainted with the Brethren at Schwar-
zenau, and was more or less in sympathy with their
views in Europe. He had received a good education at
Halle and the University of Marburg. He was married
to Marie Christina, by whom he had one son. He emi-
grated to Germantown in 1724. For a while he located
on a farm in Lancaster County. Here, it is thought, he
united with the church. Here his wife, influenced by
Beissel, left her family and for many years lived at
Sower and his son returned to Germantown in 1731.
Through the influence of the son, the wife returned to
her family in 1745. In 1738 he began his great enter-
prise of printing. The last twenty years of his life were
full of activity. The account of this work is given in the
following chapter. A quotation from Dr. Brumbaugh
will serve as the best characterization we can give of him :
40 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
" That the dreadful abuses and oppression they suf-
fered in crossing the Atlantic had been lessened by the
heroic protests to Governor Denny of one man, and that
man was Christopher Sower; that the sick emigrants
upon landing at Philadelphia were met by a warm friend
who conveyed them in carriages to his own house, and
without money and without price nursed them to health,
had the Gospel of the Savior preached to them, and sent
them rejoicing and healed to their wilderness homes, and
that friend was Christopher Sower ; that in short the one
grandest German of them all, loved and followed most
devotedly, was Christopher Sower, the Good Samaritan
of Germantown." — Brumbaugh's History, pp. 338-387.
Christopher Sower, Jr., 1721-1784. The only son of
Christopher Sower, Sr., was born in Laasphe, Wittgen-
stein. He came with his parents to Germantown in 1724,
moved with them to Lancaster County in 1726, and after
his mother's departure for Ephrata, in 1730, returned
with his father to Germantown in 1731. Here he was
given an excellent training under private teachers. He
united with the Church of the Brethren in 1737. He
showed much spiritual zeal and spent much time in
prayer. He was chosen deacon in 1747. He was called
to the ministry in 1748 and ordained to the eldership in
1753. He served the church ably and freely and under
his direction the church prospered.
After his father's death, in 1758, he came into full
possession of the printing establishment. He had al-
ready been in charge of the printing in English. The ac-
count of his wonderful work in this business is given in
the following chapter. His publication and distribution,
free of charge, of the first religious magazine in Amer-
ica, shows the Christian character of this man. He was
ESTABLISHING CHURCH IN AMERICA 41
true to Jesus Christ and to his convictions of right. He
gained much wealth, but lost it all through confiscation
in the Revolutionary War because of his peace principles.
He was very strong in opposition to slavery and intem-
During his prosperous days he was very active in the
work of the colony. He took a great interest in educa-
tion, and was one of the heaviest donors to the German-
town Academy, founded in 1759. He was a man of
much culture and wrote much poetry.
He married Catherine Sharpnack in 1751. To them
were born nine children. Two of the boys became noted
printers. The Sower family has continued to this day in
the printing business.
Robbed of all his property, but without complaint, this
child of God left Germantown April 7, 1780, and went
to Methacton, where he spent his last days. Here he was
given some help by his friends, but he labored earnestly
and repaid all loans. He died August 26, 1784. His
funeral services were conducted by Elder Martin Urner
and Samuel Hopkins. His personal friend and associate
in the eldership, Alexander Mack, Jr., was too full of
sorrow to speak, but paid tribute to his memory by com-
posing a hymn which was sung at the funeral. — Brum-
baugh's History, pp. 387-437.
Martin Urner, Sr., 1695-1755. He was born in Al-
sace, France, and came to America with his father in
1708. In 1718 he purchased 450 acres of land on the
Schuylkill, where now stands the Coventry meeting-
house. He was very prosperous as a farmer. He went
to Philadelphia to hear Christian Libe in 1723, but in-
stead became acquainted with Peter Becker. Martin
Urner was the first member of the Church of the Breth-
ESTABLISHING CHURCH IN AMERICA 43
" He was a worthy successor of a worthy elder, and to
these two men, uncle and nephew, we are indebted for a
remarkably able administration of the holy office they so
nobly honored. Upon their long ministry there rests no
shadow. Over their life work lies lovingly the light of
God's welcome, " Well done." — Brumbaugh's History,
Two Conestoga Bishops, Michael Frantz and Mi-
chael Pfouts, have a most excellent record.
Michael Frantz, 1687-1747, was a native of Switzer-
land, who came to America in 1727 and settled in Lan-
caster County. He was baptized by Peter Becker, Sep-
tember 29, 1734. The same day the Conestoga. church
was reorganized after the Beissel Schism. He was soon
called to the ministry and ordained to the eldership. For
twelve years he labored for the congregation, which in-
creased in this time from twenty to two hundred. He
was not only a good preacher and a good elder, but com-
posed many religious hymns, a collection of which was
published in 1770 by Christopher Sower.
Michael Pfouts, 1709-1769, was bom in the Palatinate,
came to America the same year Michael Frantz did and,
like him, settled in Lancaster County. He joined the
church in 1739. In 1744 he was called to the ministry
and ordained by Elder Frantz, just a short time before
the latter's death. He was a very efficient elder and
shepherd of the flock. Though there were many emigra-
tions from Conestoga to pioneer settlements, and though
Ephrata was right in its territory, yet in 1770, one year
after his death, it was the largest of the colonial churches.
— Brumbaugh's History, pp. 300-305.
John Jacob Price was an active minister at Creyfeld.
He accompanied Elder John Naas on his missionary
44 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
tours up the Rhine Valley. He was with Elder Naas
when the latter was seized by the king's army agents.
Elder Price, being small of stature, was not wanted for
the army. He came to America with Peter Becker in
1719. He lived for a while at Germantown, but later
settled on a two-hundred-acre farm on Indian Creek.
He was a powerful preacher. He had only one son,
John, who was quite weakly. This son, by the advice of
the father, married a beautiful Indian maiden. To them
were born two sons, Daniel and John. The young father
died at the age of twenty-two. The mother returned to
her Indian people, and the two boys were raised by their
grandfather. To them he gave all of his wealth and the
best of training. From them have descended all of the
Prices in the Brotherhood, among them some thirty or
forty able ministers. — Eastern Pennsylvania, pp. 291-296.
Daniel Leatherman was born in Germany about
1710. He came to America about 1830 and settled in
Pennsylvania, near Hanover. Here he united with the
Brethren and was called to the ministry. He organized
the Little Conewago church in 1738, and was its pastor
and elder for twenty years. He exerted a wide influence
in these Pennsylvania churches. In 1757 he moved to
Maryland, being the first Brethren preacher in the State.
He organized the Middletown Valley church and was its
elder until his death, about 1790. He wielded a wide in-
fluence in this State, and was doubtless looked to as a
kind of presiding bishop over all this southern territory.
He went as far south as North Carolina in his rounds.
An example of how his influence has descended to the
church of the present day is illustrated by the following
from Holsinger's History of the Brethren, page 766:
" In the year 1861 David Wolfe, son of Elder George
The Colonial Church
The Colonial Church, though small in numbers, was
large in influence. Her members were not narrow or
seclusive, but many-sided in their interest and activity.
They lived and worked with men. When we study the
colonial church in relation to the present, it is surprising
to discover how many of the present-day activities had
their beginnings then. It is the purpose of this chapter
to give a general view of the work of the colonial church.
Social Life. " The social characteristics have ever
been a marked feature in the life of this people. In their
religious worship from house to house, their hospitality
was ever large enough to invite the entire assembly. In-
deed, hospitality is part of their religion, and they feed
the multitudes as the Master did of old, and hospitality is
the basis of their charity to the poor and needy. They
have been a positive factor in laying the social founda-
tions of domestic happiness. Mutual helpfulness and
hospitality build a great social bulwark, a defense against
poverty and wretchedness. Their simplicity in life is a
fundamental principle in their faith, and was at once one
of the most effectual means to self-support; and their
simplicity and habits of economy have ever been a sure
foundation for material advancement and a serviceable
competency. True to their faith and doctrines, the
Brethren must ever be kind friends and good neighbors,
and suffer wrong, if need be, from their neighbors and
48 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
associates, that they may gain them or retain them as
friends, rather than redress the wrong by process of law
and so make them their enemies." — Falkenstein's History,
Caring for the Poor has been a fixed principle and
practice of the Church of the Brethren from the first.
The Brethren helped one another in distress. The
founder of the church, Alexander Mack, spent most of
his fortune in relieving his persecuted brethren. The
church at , Germantown very early made provisions for
the poor. When the stone church was built, in 1770, the
Pettikoffer house was left standing. A part of this was
used for needy widows or old people who might dwell
here without paying rent. This house was used as such
and was known as the " Widows' Home " for almost a
century. — Brumbaugh's History, pp. 171-174. Falken-
stein's History, pp. 129-130.
Industrial Life. " The Brethren led an intensely ac-
tive industrial life. In the rural districts they were first
of all engaged in agricultural pursuits, and a majority of
the members of the Brethren Church of today are still
largely interested in the various departments of agricul-
" In the township of Germantown, and other parts of
Philadelphia County adjacent to the settlement of Phila-
delphia, the Brethren were early engaged in a variety of
industries, for which Philadelphia became noted from
time to time. It is interesting to look over the old deeds
and study the long and varied list of occupations, indi-
cating the industrial activity. Elder Peter Becker was
a master weaver, and early contributed his share toward
making Germantown what it has been for almost two
centuries— a center for knitting and weaving industries.
THE COLONIAL CHURCH 49
With each succeeding generation, the mills have become
larger, the looms and machinery more perfect, and the
business more complex and extensive. Alexander Mack,
Jr., followed in the same line of work, besides his very
extensive work in the church ; and for his day and time
he had a large manufacturing establishment, with a
variety of products ranging from knitted stockings to
woven blankets. The Sowers became printers, book-
binders and book-publishers, and the family has con-
tinued in the publishing business for a century and a half.
The Lieberts were printers and publishers for several
generations, and published some of the earliest hymn
books the Brethren had. Some of the Schreibers were
bookbinders." — Falkenstein's History, pp. 106-108.
Not only at Germantown and in Pennsylvania did peo-
ple enjoy the blessing of the industrial life of this people,
but other colonies as well were benefited, and especially
was this true of Christopher Sower. " Could you have
entered any German home from New York to Georgia
in 1754 and asked, 'Who is Christopher Saur?' you
would have learned that in every German home the Bible,
opened morning and evening, was printed in 1743 by
Christopher Saur; that the sanctuary and hearth were
wreathed in music from the Davidische Psalterspiel,
printed by Christopher Saur; that the family almanac,
rich in medicinal and historical data, and containing the
daily weather guide of the family, was printed by Chris-
topher Saur in 1739, and every year thereafter until his
death in 1758, and then by his son until 1778; that the
religious magazine, prized with pious ardor and read with
profound appreciation, was printed by Christopher Saur ;
that the secular newspaper, containing all the current
domestic and foreign news, linking the farm of the Ger-
SO HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
man with the whole wide world, was printed from 1739
by Christopher Saur; that the ink and the paper used in
sending letters to loved ones across the sea came from
the shop of Christopher Saur, and was of his own manu-
facture ; that the new six-plate stove, glowing in the long
winter evenings with warmth and welcome, was invented
and sold by Christopher Saur; that the medicines that
brought health to the sick was compounded by Dr. Chris-
topher Saur; that the old clock, telling the hours, the
months and the phases of the moon, in yon corner of the
room, was made by Christopher Saur; that almost every
book upon the table was printed by Christopher Saur,
upon his own press, with type and ink of his own manu-
facture, and bound in his own bindery."- — Brumbaugh's
History, pp. 374-375.
Printing Press Products. During colonial days the
Church of the Brethren had no superiors in the products
of the printing press. The work of the two Sowers has
a national reputation.
In 1738 Christopher Sower, Sr., secured from Germany
a printer's outfit. With this he began a most remarkable
business. In 1738 he published an A B C spelling book.
In the same year he began the publication of the High
German American calendar. They had a wide circula-
tion and were issued annually by the Sower press for
nearly fifty years. In 1739 he published a German
hymnal. In the same year he began the publication of the
first German newspaper in America, Der Hoch Deutsche
Pennsylvanische Geschicht Schreibers. Under various
titles this paper was issued until the Revolutionary War.
" But the monumental task of Sower's life was the
printing and publishing of the Holy Bible. As early as
1740 Sower felt impelled to print the Bible. In 1742 he
THE COLONIAL CHURCH SI
issued a prospectus, and in 1743 the royal quarto Bible,
the first Bible in the European tongue published in
America. It was 7^x10 inches and contained 1,248
pages." — Brumbaugh's History, p. 370.
The bigness of such a work and the many difficulties
that had to be overcome to accomplish it, show the real
ability of this wonderful man. He increased his business
rapidly. From 1739 to 1758 more than two hundred
different works were printed on his press. At his death,
in 1758, his son became owner and manager of this im-
portant enterprise. " He not only maintained the honor-
able record of his father, but he enlarged the business to
proportions beyond that of any similar enterprise in
The most important products of these later years of
the Sower press were the second and third editions of
the German Bible, published in 1763 and 1776, respec-
tively. In the meantime he had been publishing the
Geistlische Magazine, the first religious magazine in
America. This he distributed free of charge because, as
he said, he had received larger returns from the second
edition of the Bible than he had expected, so he desired
to show his gratitude in a helpful way. In 1778 persecu-
tion stopped this remarkable printing business. Later,
in 1784, it was revived by Peter Liebert, a minister in the
Church of the Brethren, and continued for many years
under his direction.
Literary Activities. " We have seen something of
the work of the celebrated Sower press and of the stal-
wart and godly men who established and conducted it.
By means of this press Germantown became not only the
religious, but also the literary center of the Dunkers in
America during the period we are treating. About this
THE COLONIAL CHURCH S3
Education. " The year 1738 marks an important
epoch in the Christian education, not only of the Church
of the Brethren, but of all churches. It is the year in
which the first Sunday-school was established in America,
and gives the Church of the Brethren the credit of start-
ing Sunday-school instruction. Not at Ephrata, as is
sometimes supposed, but at Germantown was the first
Sunday-school begun, more than forty years before Sun-
day-school work was begun by Robert Raikes in England.
" It was in the year 1738 at Germantown, Pa., that the
Brethren had regular Sunday afternoon services for
the unmarried or young people at the house of Christo-
pher Saur. There is evidence that Ludwig Haecker
was a leading spirit, if not the superintendent of this
work at Germantown, but afterwards went with others
to Ephrata. He must have been an educated man, for at
Ephrata he was the principal of an academy and also
superintendent of a Sunday-school for more than thirty
years. The exodus from Germantown to Ephrata, of
some prominent members, did not stop the Sunday-school
work at Germantown, for in 1744 Brother Saur printed
Sunday-school cards, on each of which is a scriptural
quotation and stanza of poetry. Samples of these cards
are still extant.
" In 1738 occurred another very important event, not
only as related to the history of the Church of the Breth-
ren, but as related to entire colonial America, from Maine
to Georgia, wherever the German language was spoken.
This event was the introduction of the German printing
press into America by Christopher Saur. In early
colonial days, when books were few, Saur's almanac and
newspaper were powerful educators in the majority of
German homes. Brother Saur, having received a uni-
54 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
versity education, was well qualified for the position he
filled. His style of writing was elegant and vigorous.
The subjects he discussed were numerous and important,
such as religion, education, temperance, slavery, war,
etc. His newspaper was a kind of encyclopaedia in the
" In 1754 education received an important contribu-
tion in English by Christopher Saur, the younger, pub-
lishing a work on Christian Education. In 1763 Elder
Saur, with the assistance of Alexander Mack, began to
publish and freely distribute the Geistlich Magazine,
(Spiritual Magazine), the first religious periodical pub-
lished in America, and properly called a factor in re-
" In 1759 the first steps were taken to establish the
Germantown Academy. In this our brethren took a keen
interest and contributed liberally in' a financial way.
Their elder, Christopher Saur, was a prominent pro-
moter of the project, and one of a committee to raise
funds and erect the school-buildings, also buildings for
the instructors. Instruction was given, both in English
and in German, and the school soon had a large attend-
ance. Brother Saur acted as trustee of this institution
for about twenty years, ten of which he was president of
the board of directors. This active interest taken by our
brethren in favor of education must be placed to their
credit as one of the early educational activities of our
church." — S. Z. Sharp, in Two Centuries, pp. 311-312.
Annual Meeting. The governing body of the Church
of the Brethren today is the Annual Meeting. It had its
origin in the colonial church in 1742. It came about in
this way :
THE COLONIAL CHURCH 57
" They use great plainness of language and dress, like
the Quakers; and like them will never swear nor fight.
They will not go to law nor take interest for the money
they lend. They commonly wear their beards and keep
the first day Sabbath, except one congregation. They
have the Lord's supper with its ancient attendants of
love-feast, washing feet, kiss of charity, and right hand
of fellowship. They anoint the sick with oil for the re-
covery, and use trine immersion, with laying on of hands
and prayer, even while the person baptized is in the
water; which may easily be done, as the party kneels
down to be baptized and continues in that position till
both prayer and imposition of hands be performed.
. . . Every brother is allowed to stand up in the con-
gregation to speak in a way of exhortation and expound-
ing, and when by that means they find a man eminent for
knowledge and aptness to teach, they choose him to be a
minister and ordain him with imposition of hands, at-
tended with fasting and prayer, and giving the right hand
of fellowship. They also have deacons, and ancient
widows for deaconesses ; and exhorters who are licensed
to use their gifts statedly.
" They pay not their ministers, unless it be in the way
of presents ; though they admit their right to pay ; neither
do the ministers assert their right ; esteeming it to be more
blessed to give than to receive. Their acquaintance with
the Bible is admirable. In a word, they are meek and
pious Christians and have justly acquired the character
of the harmless Tunkers." — Brumbaugh's History,
Review. In 1770 there were fourteen congregations
in Pennsylvania, with a membership of six hundred and
thirty. Counting the members in New Jersey and Mary-
Expansion and Growth
At the close of the colonial era the Church of the
Brethren numbered about one thousand members. They
were largely confined to Pennsylvania, with a few scat-
tered members in New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia.
Today the church has a membership of one hundred
thousand. They are located in nearly all the States from
the Atlantic to the Pacific. The story of this growth and
progress is an interesting one, but far too large for any-
thing but a mere sketch to be given in this chapter.
Pennsylvania was not only the first State to become
the home of the Brethren in America, but it has ever
since been the home of more Brethren than any other
State. Today one-fourth of all the Brethren member-
ship lives in Pennsylvania.
Eastern Pennsylvania is the District of our mother
churches. The colonial history of these churches has
been given in another chapter. Those half-dozen
churches have grown and have been divided into more
than fifty congregations. The membership has increased
from a few hundred to nearly eight thousand. The terri-
tory of Eastern Pennsylvania did include all of the State
lying east of the Susquehanna; also New Jersey, New
York and New England. However, the membership is
largely confined to a few counties: Lancaster, Mont-
gomery, Berks, Bucks, Dauphin, Lebanon and Philadel-
phia. In 1911 the District was divided. Eight churches
in and near Philadelphia and all of the territory east of
60 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
the Delaware River were organized into a District known
as Southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New
Eastern Pennsylvania has had a large influence on the
history of the Church of the Brethren. From her colo-
nial churches her children have gone forth to start new
organizations, but have ever looked back to the parent
congregations with respect. Many strong leaders in the
church have succeeded the colonial leaders. Peter Key-
ser, during his long ministry of sixty-three years at Ger-
mantown and Philadelphia, was recognized as one of the
ablest preachers of his day. John H. Umstad of Green-
tree was a man of unusual power, especially in pioneer
evangelistic work. Here lived Abraham H. Cassel, who,
during many years of faithful research, collected a very
valuable library that has entitled him to be called the
church antiquarian and historian. J. T. Myers will long
be remembered as one of the pioneer editors of our
church papers, and as a bishop of large activity among
the churches. S. R. Zug, who is still with us, has been a
recognized leader in forward movements, both in his
District and in the Brotherhood. The District today has
many strong leaders, and when these secure the united
support of the large resources of the District in aggres-
sive Christian work, great will be the results in the har-
vest field of the Lord.
The District has homes for old people and orphans at
Neffsville. Elizabethtown College is doing good work in
developing the talents of the young people. A very com-
plete history of the District was published in 1915. It is
of unusual interest to the student of the history of the
Church of the Brethren, because much of the history of
the District is also the history of the entire church.
EXPANSION AND GROWTH 61
Middle Pennsylvania originally included that part of
the State between the Allegheny Mountains and the
Susquehanna River. In 1892 the territory was divided
into a Southern and a Middle District. Middle Pennsyl-
vania of today includes that part of the State between the
Allegheny Mountains on the west, the Blue Ridge Moun-
tains and the Susquehanna River on the east. The mem-
bership is largely confined to Huntingdon, Mifflin, Blair
and Bedford Counties.
There were perhaps six congregations organized be-
fore 1800. Dry Valley, now the Lewistown, church is
said to have been organized as early as 1780. Preaching
was done by ministers from Eastern Pennsylvania. John
Swigart from Berks County was one of the earliest
ministers. He was the great-grandfather of Elders J. C.
and W. J. Swigart. Abram Miller of Dauphin County
was one of the first ministers. From this section come
many Brethren ministers, the Swigarts, Hanawalts, Roth-
rocks, Myerses, S. Z. Sharp, etc. This church was near
the Aughwick congregation, where Christian Long was
the first minister, elected in 1802. Lost Creek, in Juniata
County, and Clover Creek, in Blair County, were organ-
ized about 1790.
Middle Pennsylvania has had an interesting history.
At Kishacoquillas, in 1861, S. Z. Sharp opened the first
Brethren school. At Huntingdon, in 1876, was founded
Juniata College, the oldest of the present Brethren
schools. At James Creek the Brumbaugh brothers began
their long career in connection with our publications ; at
Huntingdon they lived for more than forty years. Here,
too, was the home of Elder James Quinter for the last
twelve years of his life. From Union County came Elder
J. G. Royer; from Huntingdon County, Elder Samuel"
62 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Murray; from Juniata County, Elders Enoch Eby and
Samuel Mohler ; from Blair County, Elder John Metzger.
In 1881 there were fifteen prosperous churches. In
1916 there were twenty-six churches, with a membership
of nearly five thousand. Altoona and Huntingdon are
the largest congregations.
Southern Pennsylvania includes the territory between
the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Susquehanna River.
The membership is largely confined to four counties :
York, Adams, Franklin and Cumberland. In this Dis-
trict there are some churches dating back to colonial
days. In a previous chapter has been given the early
history of the Conewago church, organized in 1738;
Antietam, 1752; and Codorus, 1758. Upper Conewago,
Lower Conewago, Codorus and Upper Codorus are still
among the most prosperous churches in the District. The
second largest church in the District is in the city of
York. Here was held the Annual Meeting of 1912.
Antietam, in Franklin County, has become the largest
congregation in the Brotherhood, with a membership of
nine hundred. This church was an early outpost of mis-
sion work, and from this center went forth workers into
Maryland, Virginia and Western Pennsylvania. Its first
meetinghouse was built in 1798. Marsh Creek, in Adams
County, was organized in 1811, when David Pfouts was
called to the ministry. He had presiding care of this
congregation from his ordination in 1821 until his death
in 1849. He was not only a leader in his District, but
one of the foremost men of the Brotherhood, serving
frequently as moderator of Annual Meeting.
Southern Pennsylvania has about twenty congrega-
tions with a membership of over four thousand. It has
an Old Folks' Home at Carlisle. The District is becom-
EXPANSION AND GROWTH 63
ing a partner in the ownership of Elizabethtown College.
A history of Middle and Southern Pennsylvania is be-
ing prepared by Elders James A. Sell, Hollidaysburg,
Pa., and George Myers, Curryville, Pa.
Western Pennsylvania includes that part of the State
west of the Allegheny Mountains, but the membership is
largely confined to a few counties. Its history begins as
early as 1760, when the Brethren began moving into Bed-
ford County, and into what is now Somerset County.
The first settlement was known as the " Glades," just
west of the mountain. Stony Creek was organized in
1762 by George Adam Martin. At this time he was ad-
vocating Seventh Day Baptist views. The congregation
later returned to the practice of the Brethren. In 1770
there were seventeen members.
The first settlements were likely broken up by Indian
uprisings. From 1770 to 1825 there is only a scanty his-
tory of the work of the church. Michael Myers, Peter
Cober and John Forney are named among the early min-
isters. Prior to 1849 nearly all of Somerset County was
in one organization. The Annual Meeting of 1849 was
held near Berlin. A special committee from the Confer-
ence divided the county into four organizations: Elk
Lick, Berlin, Middle Creek and Quemahoning. By 1877
Elk Lick alone had grown to a membership of six hun-
dred, and was in turn divided into three parts : Elk Lick,
Summit and Meyersdale.
Further north the Conemaugh congregation was or-
ganized toward the close of the eighteenth century.
Elder Peter Morgan moved here from Hagerstown, Md.,
in 1797. John Mineely, an Irishman, Levi Roberts, a
Welshman, and Jacob Stutsman, a German, were minis-
ters here about the opening of the nineteenth century.
66 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
There is a home for old people at Mapleville. Blue
Ridge College at New Windsor well represents the edu-
cational interests of the State.
Virginia. Virginia was the third State to be settled
by the Brethren. Two noted ministers and their families
had much to do with the early settlements. The first
preacher in the State was Elder Jacob Miller, who moved
from Franklin County, Pa., to Southern Virginia about
1765. Here he was very active as a preacher for thirty-
five years and laid the foundation of many of the churches
in that part of the State. He raised a family of nine
sons and three daughters, most of whom became mem-
bers of the church. Two sons, David and Aaron, be-
came noted ministers in the church. About 1800 Elder
Jacob Miller and most of his family emigrated to Ohio
In Northern Virginia, John Garber of York County,
Pa., was the first Brethren minister. He came about
1775 and located in Rockingham County. He was fol-
lowed by other members of his family. He had seven
sons and three daughters. Six of his sons became preach-
ers, one a deacon, and two daughters married preachers.
He and his sons were active leaders in the church. He
died in 1784. Four of his sons remained in the Shenan-
doah Valley, one went to Tennessee and two came to
Ohio. This family of Garbers has exerted a very wide
In Northern Virginia, Brethren came from Pennsyl-
vania and Maryland. Some of these had lost all earthly
possessions because of their peace principles. By 1787
there were thirty-seven families. The most of these
settled in Rockingham County, between Harrisonburg
and Staunton. Prominent among the early ministers
68 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
have been very common of ministers in Southern Vir-
ginia. These faithful workers going out from these cen-
ters planted the gospel seed in far-away places among the
mountains, into West Virginia, and south into North
Carolina and Tennessee. In 1797 the Annual Meeting
was held in Franklin County.
In the history of the Christian Church there are but
few examples of greater sacrifice and courage than those
of these pioneer Virginia preachers. Over the moun-
tains and through the valleys for hundreds of miles they
made their rounds to preach the Gospel. Some of them
traveled thousands of miles in a single year. As a result
of their labors the Brethren churches grew strong in
faith and in numbers. The parent organizations were
divided to form many new congregations. This mission-
ary spirit became quite general. In the fifth decade of
the nineteenth century there was an active movement on
the part of those Virginia Brethren to get the Annual
Meeting to take more active interest in spreading the
Gospel. They were back of the missionary queries dis-
cussed by the Conference in 1852, 1858, 1859 and 1860.
And though but little was done by the Conference, and
though the Civil War placed a great hindrance in their
way, the Virginia Brethren never lost their interest in this
great movement. Today many sons and daughters of the
Virginia churches are offering themselves to foreign mis-
" The church in Virginia has always been loyal to the
General Brotherhood. This is evidenced by maintaining
her doctrines under the most adverse and trying condi-
tions. The attitude on slavery gave a most difficult and
perplexing problem for these churches to solve, and to
uphold the principles of peace under the fearful scourge
EXPANSION AND GROWTH 69
of the war in the South was an ordeal that few could
have withstood." The record of what the Virginia
Brethren endured during the war is one of great heroism
and Christian fidelity. It reached its climax in the
martyrdom of one of the State's greatest leaders, Elder
The State has been a leader in other lines of work.
It has taken a healthy interest in education. Bridgewater
and Daleville Colleges and Hebron Seminary stand as a
visible record of what they have done. In Sunday-
schools, charitable work and general welfare activities
the State has done its part well. There are homes for
the aged and orphans at Timberville. All this has been
possible largely because of its many able leaders. Such
men as Benjamin Bowman, Martin Garber, John Kline,
Peter Nininger, B. F. Moomaw, Abraham Crumpacker,
Daniel Hays, D. C. Flory, Geo. B. Holsinger, W. H.
Naff, D. N. Eller, S. N. McCann, and the many strong
leaders of today have given to Virginia an excellent
In 1866 Virginia was formally divided, though for
several years previous there had been a natural division
recognized and District Meetings had been held. At that
time the south part of the State, including nine churches,
was organized as the First District of Virginia. North-
ern Virginia with twelve churches was called the Second
District of Virginia. These twenty-one churches of fifty
years ago have developed into more than ninety congre-
gations, with a membership of about 14,000. In 1910
the First and Second Districts were again divided. The
southern part of the original First District is now known
as Southern Virginia, having twenty-four congregations
and a membership of 2,000. The First District has
70 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
twenty organizations and a membership of 2,500. East
of the Blue Ridge Mountains is a membership of some
1,200 in twelve congregations, in what is now the East
Virginia District. The original Second District is now
divided into the Second and Northern Districts, corre-
sponding somewhat to the division made in 1787. Each
District has about eighteen congregations and a member-
ship of nearly four thousand.
A history of the Virginia Brethren, by Elder D. H.
Zigler, was published in 1908. The quotations and much
of the data for this account are taken from this book.
Tennessee. The church in Tennessee was an exten-
sion of the church work in Virginia. Members began
moving in about the close of the eighteenth century.
Among these were the Shanks and the Simmons families
of Greenbrier County, and the Bowman families from
southern Virginia. Christ Simmons, Isaac Hammer,
Michael Krous and Daniel Bowman were the earliest
ministers. Elder Samuel Garber of Rockingham County,
Va., preached in Washington County, Tenn., and organ-
ized the Knob Creek church about 1811. Elder Garber,
though three hundred miles distant, made at least three
trips to these Tennessee churches. In this church lived
some of the Bowman families who had come from
Franklin County, Va. The name Bowman has been very
common among the Brethren in Tennessee. The second
church organized was Cedar Grove in Hawkins County,
1824. This was the home of David, Samuel and
Abraham Molsbee, who were active leaders in the State.
The third congregation was organized at Limestone in
1847. Here a frame meetinghouse, 40x60, was erected
in 1852. Here the Annual Meeting was held in 1860,
when the great Civil War was just threatening.
EXPANSION AND GROWTH 71
The work in Tennessee was hindered both by the Civil
War and by the secession of the John A. Bowman Breth-
ren. With these trials past and differences adjusted, the
work moved on. At present there are twenty-five or-
ganizations with a membership of over sixteen hundred.
Knob Creek, the pioneer congregation, is still the largest.
The District has a very large field, including all of Tennes-
see, Alabama and Mississippi.
At Fruitdale, Ala., the Brethren under the leadership
of James M. Neff began a settlement and organized a
church in 1896. They had hoped to start a school, but
this failed. The church, however, continues to the pres-
ent and has been the center of considerable missionary
activity, that has resulted in the establishment of three
North Carolina, like Tennessee, was an extension of
the Virginia work. The first member here is said to
have been Jacob Faw, who, having learned of the Breth-
ren, came to Franklin County, heard the Brethren preach,
and was baptized. From this on the Brethren began
making occasional trips to North Carolina, preaching and
baptizing. A church was organized and Jacob Faw was
called to the ministry. The Gospel spread and the mem-
bership increased both by baptism and by migrations
from the North. Some very able brethren have come
from this section, such as Elder John Hendricks, who
first organized the work in Missouri and Illinois. Emi-
gration westward has weakened these churches. There
are fewer than eight hundred in twenty-five congrega-
tions in the District, which includes South Carolina,
Georgia and Florida.
The work in Florida began in 1884, when Elder J. H.
Moore of Northern Illinois settled at Keuka. A church
72 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
was organized this same year. Elder Moore remained
here seven years, and then returned to the editorial chair
of the Gospel Messenger, to give twenty-four years of
steady service to the Brotherhood. Since 1915 Elder
Moore has made Sebring, Fla., his home. Here a church
has been organized. In the winter season the member-
ship of the Florida churches is greatly increased by tour-
ists from the North.
West Virginia has been largely an extension of the
churches in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The
oldest congregation in the State is Beaver Run, organ-
ized early in the nineteenth century. The first members
here were largely of the Arnold family, some of whom
came from Frederick County, Md., as early as 1785.
Here lived Elder D. B. Arnold, widely known throughout
the Brotherhood, not only for his own efficient service,
but also through his sons, Prof. C. E. Arnold, former
president of McPherson College, and R. E. Arnold, for
many years business manager of the Brethren Publishing
The Sandy church, Preston County, near the Pennsyl-
vania line, was settled in 1825. The next year Jacob M.
Thomas was called to the ministry and gave forty-five
years of efficient service to the church in this section.
German Settlement, in Preston County, was organized in
1855. It is now the largest congregation in the State.
This has been the church home of the Fikes and Aberna-
thys, who have been prominent in the church and in the
District. In 1845 Elder James Quinter did some effective
preaching in Barbour County and. baptized many appli-
Along the Virginia border the Virginia churches ex-
tended their care to these frontier settlements. Such
EXPANSION AND GROWTH 73
pioneers as John Kline, Jacob Wine and Jacob Miller
took much interest in these people across the mountains.
About twenty years ago the West Virginia churches
were divided into First and Second Districts. The Second
District is small. In 1916 in the First District there were
seventeen churches and 1,722 members.
Kentucky at one time gave promise of having many
Brethren churches. The first settlers probably came
from North Carolina. Joseph Rogers of the Brethren
Church is said to have been the first white man to preach
the Gospel in Kentucky. Other Brethren came from
Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania. " Prominent among
them were George Wolfe, Sr., Adam Hostettler, Ben-
jamin Hoffman and Francis Stump. The latter was a
descendant of Elder Peter Becker of Germantown.
Kentucky held out great inducements, so that there was
a great influx of Brethren. These, together with the
zealous settlers, established churches in various parts of
the State, especially in Simpson, Muhlenberg, and Shelby
Counties." — Holsinger's History, p. 763.
We do not have information concerning names of the
organizations or the number of communicants in the
State, but there was evidently a number of prosperous
churches. Elder John Hendricks, who organized the
first church, both in Missouri and Illinois, lived in Ken-
tucky. Elders Joseph Roland and John Dick went from
Kentucky to Sangamon County, 111., and organized the
church there. This was also the native State of Elder
R. H. Miller. In the early part of the century some mis-
understanding arose between these Kentucky brethren
and the main body of the church. Some special com-
mittees failed to settle the trouble. Under the influence
of one or two of their leaders, many members left the
74 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
church. From this misfortune the church never recov-
ered. The State has but few members today. This his-
tory would be both unimportant and uninteresting were
it not for the fact that Kentucky was an important inter-
mediate State in the movement of the Brethren from the
East to the West.
Ohio has been one of the leading Brethren States for
a century. The oldest churches were organized near the
Ohio River, in the counties east of Cincinnati. At least
ten congregations were organized, of which seven re-
main. John Countryman is said to have been the first
Brethren preacher here, coming to Adams County in
1793. David Stouder organized the Stone Lick church
in 1795. Jacob Garver, Sr., was likely a minister here at
that time. David Bowman was called to the ministry
here about 1800. Later Robert Calvert was the leading
minister in this section. Four of his sons were preach-
ers. In the Highland church lived Elder Thomas Major
and his wife, Sister Sarah Major. She was very widely
known as the only sister minister in the church of that
day. She faithfully served these pioneer churches in the
ministry for more than forty years. Landon West was
another faithful bishop of these churches. In this sec-
tion, too, at New Vienna, Elder James Quinter conducted
his school for three years.
The first minister in the Miami Valley was Elder Jacob
Miller, who came from Franklin County, Va., in 1800.
He did the first preaching in those counties where the
Brethren are now the most numerous. Elder David
Bowman, Sr., was another of those early pioneers. Both
Jacob Miller and David Bowman have furnished many
strong workers to the Brethren from their families.
Emigrants came in fast from the East. Miami, the first
EXPANSION AND GROWTH 75
congregation, was organized in 1805. In 1812 this was
divided into four parts: Miami, Bear Creek, Wolf
Creek and Stillwater. Fifteen churches were organized
before 1850 and perhaps as many meetinghouses built.
Some of the leading workers of Southern Ohio became
the founders of Indiana churches and took many mem-
bers with them. But still the parent churches grew
strong. Peter Nead, Jacob Garber, H. D. Davy, John
Smith, J. C. Bright, Jesse Stutsman, W. K. Simmons,
I. J. Rosenberger and many younger brethren have done
much to make Southern Ohio what it is. The church
suffered much by the Old Order divide in 1881, but it
is today one of the strongest Districts in the Brother-
hood, having forty-five congregations and a membership
of more than six thousand. The District has become
aggressive in Sunday-school and missionary activities.
It has good homes for the orphans and aged at Green-
ville. A complete history of this District is being pre-
pared by an able committee.
About the same time that Brethren began moving into
Southern Ohio by the way of the Ohio River and the
Cincinnati gateway, others from Pennsylvania began
moving into Northeastern Ohio through the Pittsburgh
route. Elder John Gans moved into Stark County in
1804. He was the first Brethren minister in all this sec-
tion. Shortly after his coming the Nimishillen congre-
gation was organized. It grew both by baptisms and
immigration. In 1822 the first Annual Meeting west of
the Allegheny Mountains was held in the bounds of this
congregation. But by this time other organizations had
been formed. The Mill Creek church, later called Ma-
honing, near the Pennsylvania State line, was organized
about 1815. Shortly afterward it called to the ministry
76 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
George Hoke, who was soon to become a leader in the
Brotherhood. For many years Henry Kurtz was bishop
of this church, and here he published the Gospel Visitor,
our first modern church paper. There were twelve or-
ganizations in Northeastern Ohio by 1850. The Annual
Meeting had been held in the territory four times. With
such leaders as George Hoke, George Shively, James
Tracy, Henry Kurtz, Elias Dickey, I. D. Parker, D. N.
Workman, George Irvin, Samuel Garver, etc., North-
eastern Ohio exerted a large influence in the church.
Ashland College was organized here, though later lost to
the church. Many members were lost to the Progressive
Brethren in 1882, and many more by emigration to West-
ern States. The District is still in good working condi-
tion, with many faithful leaders. In 1916 there were
twenty-seven churches, averaging more than one hun-
dred members to the church. The first church to be
settled, East Nimishillen, is yet the largest. In 1914,
with Elder T. S. Moherman as editor, a good history of
this District was published.
In Northwestern Ohio Brethren settlements began in
the twenties. The three pioneer churches were Logan,
1827, Seneca, 1828, and Sugar Creek, 1833. Logan and
Sugar Creek were organized by Elder Abraham Miller
of Virginia. They are today two of the strongest
churches in the District. There were nine churches in
the District by 1850. These churches were separated
from those of Northeastern Ohio in 1864. The first Dis-
trict Meeting was held May 18, 1865, in the Sugar Creek
church. Today there are twenty-seven congregations
with a membership of about 1,800. The District has a
good home for the aged and orphans at Fostoria.
EXPANSION AND GROWTH 77
Indiana. The first congregation in the State was the
Four Mile in Wayne and Union Counties. Elder Jacob
Miller of the Miami Valley, Ohio, did the first preach-
ing in the State. Four Mile was organized in 1809 by
Elders Jacob Miller and John Hart. At that time Daniel
Miller and John Moyer were called to the ministry. The
first meetinghouse was erected on Four Mile Creek, two
miles north of College Corner, about 1840. The second
congregation was Nettle Creek, in Wayne and Henry
Counties. It was organized in 1820 by Elders David and
Aaron Miller, sons of Elder Jacob Miller, the pioneer
preacher. The Nettle Creek meetinghouse, erected in
1845, was the second to be built in the State. At this
house was held the Annual Meeting of 1864, when John
Kline was moderator for the last time.
These two congregations became mother churches for
a number of other churches in the State. From Four
Mile some members moved to Montgomery County,
where, under the preaching of Elder William Smith of
Ohio, they organized the Racoon church, the third con-
gregation in the State. From Nettle Creek the Miller
brothers moved to South Bend in 1830 and began the
work there. Pyrmont was settled in 1829 under the
leadership of Elder John Metzger. Bachelor's Run, in
Carroll County, was organized in 1829 by Elder Peter
Eyman, who later left the church and organized the New
Tunkers. In 1830 Elder Daniel Cripe, the elder of the
Wolf Creek church in Ohio, emigrated to Elkhart County
and began the work in that county, which today has more
Brethren congregations than any other county in the
State. From the original Elkhart church territory there
have been organized sixteen congregations, with a mem-
bership of more than 2,500. Mexico, Manchester, Mis-
78 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
sissinewa, Salimony and Somerset were other parent or-
ganizations before 1850.
By 1860 there had developed two State Districts, a
Northern and a Southern, with District Meetings of their
own. October 25, 1866, at a State meeting at Andrews,
the State was divided into three Districts, Northern,
Middle and Southern. At that time there were fifty-five
congregations. In 1916 there were one hundred and
twenty-five congregations, with over twelve thousand
membership. But the membership and the territory are
not equally divided. The Southern District has two-
thirds of the territory of the State, but only about one-
fifth of the membership. The largest congregation in the
State is North Manchester.
Indiana has furnished many able leaders in the church.
The Nettle Creek church was the home of such leaders
as Benjamin Bowman, David Hardman, Daniel Bowman,
and of the well-known L. W. Teeter. Ladoga and North
Manchester were the main fields of labor for Elder R. H.
Miller. John Metzger spent twenty years of faithful
service near Rossville. The Monticello church gave to
the Brotherhood Elders Joseph Amick and J. G. Royer.
Besides these, Southern Indiana owes much to such
pioneers as George Hoover, Jacob Rife, George W.
Studebaker and Hiel Hamilton. In the two Northern
Districts congregations developed rapidly under the
preaching of such men as Samuel Murray, John White-
neck, James Tracy, Jacob Miller, Jr., David Miller, Jr.,
Jacob Berkey, D. B. Sturgis, John Knisley, Geo. W.
Cripe, Jeremiah Gump, F. P. Loehr, W. R. Deeter, etc.
Indiana holds a central position, geographically, in the
Brotherhood. Fourteen Annual Meetings have been held
in the State since 1848. Winona Lake has become a
EXPANSION AND GROWTH 79
favorite place for these Conferences. The churches have
taken a good interest in missions and Sunday-schools.
Northern Indiana was the first State District, as such, to
attempt to establish a college. North Manchester is the
home of Manchester College. Middle Indiana owns an
Old Folks and Orphans' Home at Mexico. Southern
Indiana has a similar institution near Middletown.
For a complete history of the church in this State see
History of the Church of the Brethren in Indiana, by
Michigan. The Southern tier of Michigan counties
belongs to Northern Indiana and has always been asso-
ciated with that District. In 1864 John Wise made a trip
through Central Michigan and found a few scattered
members. In south central Michigan are to be found the
most prosperous churches: Thornapple, organized in
1868; Woodland, 1874; Sunfield, 1877; and New Haven,
1878. Among the pioneer workers were Elders Isaac
Miller, George Long, Daniel Chambers, Benjamin Fry-
fogle, Isaiah Rairigh, J. G. Winey, David Baker, Zach-
ariah Albaugh. In more recent years a number of con-
gregations have been organized in counties farther north.
One of these at Beaverton is now the largest in the State.
The District was organized in 1874. In 1916 the twenty-
five congregations had a membership of 1,343. The Dis-
trict has a large mission field, but though small in num-
bers the Brethren are planning to push forward the
Lord's work in needy Districts.
Illinois. The southern part of Illinois was occupied
by the Brethren at an early date. In 1809 Elder George
Wolfe, Sr., of Kentucky, while conducting meetings at
Kaskaskia, 111., died and was buried there. His two
sons, George and Jacob, were then living in Union
80 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
County. In 1812 these two, with their wives and eight
others, were baptized by Elder John Hendricks of Ken-
tucky. A congregation was organized in the same year.
George Wolfe was chosen minister, Jacob Wolfe and
George Davis, deacons. In 1813 Elder Hendricks died
and George Wolfe was ordained to the eldership. In
1831 most of the Union County members moved to
Mill Creek, now Liberty, was the name of the new
organization in Adams County. Shortly after its or-
ganization a house of worship was built, the oldest
Brethren meetinghouse in the State. This congregation
still exists, though not so large as formerly. The Sugar
Creek church, in Sangamon County, south of Springfield,
was organized in 1830. Three able ministers located here
about this time — Elders John Dick and Joseph Roland of
Kentucky and Elder Isham Gibson from Tennessee.
D. B. Sturgis was called to the ministry in 1833. The
Sugar Creek church has had an interesting history. At
one time it was called Otter Creek. Here Daniel Vani-
man was called to the ministry in 1865. The name Gib-
son has been common in the church. Elders D. B. Gib-
son and Cullen Gibson are still living at this date, June 1,
1919. The former is a son of Elder Isham Gibson. The
latter is now nearing the century mark in age. The
original Sugar Creek territory is today divided into a
half-dozen congregations. Cerro Gordo, the home for
many years of Elder John Metzger, and Panther Creek,
the home of Elder James R. Gish, were among the con-
gregations settled between 1850 and 1860.
Southern Illinois has a large territory, and only a small
part of it is occupied by the Brethren. There have been
able and earnest workers in the District. There has been
EXPANSION AND GROWTH 81
erected and successfully maintained at Girard an Old
Folks and Orphans' Home. There are in the District
thirty churches, with a membership of more than twenty-
three hundred. The largest congregation is at Astoria.
" In the early forties the Brethren settled on the broad
prairie of Northern Illinois. Arnold's Grove, near Mt.
Carroll, was the place of beginning. Settlements of
Brethren in Lee, Ogle and Stephenson Counties soon
followed, and Rock River, West Branch, Yellow Creek
and other congregations were organized. The churches
in Northern Illinois grew in number and increased in
membership so rapidly that in thirteen years (1856) after
the first church was organized the Annual Meeting was
held in Waddams Grove, Stephenson County." — J. G.
Royer, in Two Centuries.
Northern Illinois, though not so old, nor so large as
many other Districts, has been a leader in the Brother-
hood. It was this District that responded to the call of
Denmark and Sweden when the General Brotherhood
hesitated. Here is the home of the two well-known in-
stitutions, Mt. Morris College and Bethany Bible School.
Through these the workers of the District have had large
influence in the Brotherhood. Here, too, at Lanark, Mt.
Morris, and Elgin, have been the homes of the publishing
interests of the church for more than a generation. And
this District has been the home of many national leaders,
such as Samuel Garber, Christian Long, Jos. Emmert,
Enoch Eby, S. Z. Sharp, Daniel Fry, George D. Zollers,
Edmund Forney, M. M. Eshelman, David Price, Joseph
Amick, J. G. Royer, J. H. Moore, D. L. Miller, and many
The District has been alive to all lines of real progress.
Sunday-schools, missions, and all philanthropic move-
82 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
ments have received due attention. There is at Mt.
Morris an Old Folks and Orphans' Home. The District
has thirty congregations, with a membership of twenty-
five hundred. Chicago, Mt. Morris, Lanark and Frank-
lin Grove are the largest churches.
Iowa. The first Brethren church in Iowa was or-
ganized at Liberty ville, Jefferson County, in 1844, by
Elder George Wolfe of Southern Illinois. This was the
first organization west of the Mississippi, except the
early one in Cape Girardeau County, Mo. At Liberty-
ville the first Brethren meetinghouse west of the Missis-
sippi was built in 1858. From 1851 for several years a
new congregation was organized each year. English
River, now the largest in the District, was organized in
1855 by Elders Samuel Garber and Christian Long. The
same year David Brower was ordained. He was the lead-
ing elder in Iowa for many years and later did much to
organize the churches in Oregon.
In Middle Iowa, Cedar County was organized in 1852.
This is the home of Elder John Zuck, so well known to
the Brotherhood. In 1856 three new organizations were
effected: Indian Creek, Dry Creek, and Iowa River.
Coon River, the largest church in the District, was or-
ganized in 1865. At Dry Creek, in 1858, the second
meetinghouse in the State was built. Here was where
the famous Quinter-McConnell debate occurred in 1867.
Here, too, was held the first Annual Meeting west of the
Mississippi, in 1870.
In Northern Iowa and Minnesota, South Waterloo was
organized in 1856. This was soon followed by Root
River, Lewiston and Winona. Grundy County, the sec-
ond largest congregation in the State, was organized in
1867. The South Waterloo church is the largest in the
EXPANSION AND GROWTH 83
State and one of the largest and most successful in the
Brotherhood. Its large and well equipped thirty-thou-
sand-dollar church, its wide interests in all lines of church
activity, its organization for country community interests,
have attracted the attention of country church leaders
throughout the United States. Elder A. P. Blough has
been its elder for twenty-one years.
Iowa was divided into three State Districts at a State
Conference held in the Fairview church September 16,
1869. In 1916 Southern Iowa reports show twelve con-
gregations, with a membership of 758; Middle Iowa,
seventeen congregations, 1,306 members; Northern Iowa
and Minnesota, twenty-one congregations and 1,611 mem-
Missouri. The Brethren came to Missouri at a very
early date and established a church in Cape Girardeau
County. Brethren Daniel Clingensmith from Pennsyl-
vania, Peter Baker, John Miller and Joseph Niswonger
of North Carolina settled in this county in 1795. They
were, perhaps, the first Brethren to cross the Mississippi.
Elder John Hendricks was the first Tunker minister in
the State. He baptized George Wolfe of Illinois and was
the means of starting the work in that State. Elder John
Hendricks died in 1813. His son, James Hendricks, was
ordained by Elder George Wolfe in 1818. In 1824 there
were fifty members in the State. This church, however,
failed, many of the members going to other churches,
while some moved to Southern Illinois.
The Church of the Brethren was reestablished in the
fifties. In 1854 there was a church in Cedar County, pre-
sided over by Elder William Gish. In this church, in
1859, Elder J. H. Moore was baptized. During the sixties
a number of churches were organized. One of the larg-
84 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
est in the State was Mineral Creek, organized in 1869.
This was the home of Elder S. S. Mohler, so well known
in the Brotherhood a generation ago. Mohler has been
a common name of Brethren ministers in Missouri. John
Hershey, C. Harader and Andrew Hutchison were among
the early leaders in the State. Elder John Metzger of
Illinois put forth a great deal of effort to establish a
church in St. Louis. The work, however, did not prosper.
More successful has been the work in the city of St.
Joseph, where there is now the largest congregation in the
In 1882 there were two State Districts, with thirty-
three churches and 1,250 members. Later three Districts
were formed. In 1916 there were forty congregations,
with a membership of nearly 2,000.
Kansas. Three churches were organized in Kansas
before 1860 : Cottonwood, Lyon County, 1856 ; Washing-
ton Creek, Douglas County, 1858; and Wolf River, 1859.
These early settlements had some very trying experi-
ences. In the early sixties drouth and failure of crops
were common and brought great distress to the settlers.
Many appeals were made through the Gospel Visitor for
help. One correspondent tells how, when hope of relief
was almost gone, a large herd of buffaloes came through
the land. This permitted the farmers to get an abundant
supply of meat, which lasted until other help arrived.
These were the days of the Civil War. The Brethren,
with other peaceful settlers, were largely at the mercy of
guerrilla bands. Elder Abraham Rothrock was shot and
left for dead. But the Lord revived him and gave him
many years of service for the church. Elder John
Bowers was one of the first ministers. He served on the
Standing Committee in 1862, 1864 and 1865.
EXPANSION AND GROWTH 85
During the sixties the membership increased slowly,
but during the seventies more than twenty new congre-
gations were organized. Many members from Eastern
States, including some able ministers, located in Kansas.
A State District was formed about the beginning of this
decade, though the Kansas churches continued in close
touch with those of Missouri for some time; and for
many years the Kansas District also included Nebraska.
After the Annual Meeting at Bismarck Grove in 1883
there was a lively interest taken by the Brethren in the
Kansas field. More new churches were formed in differ-
ent parts of the State. By 1880 there were two State
Districts, and by 1891 four State Districts had been
formed. The territory of the Kansas Districts has been
much decreased by the separate organization of Nebraska
on the north and Oklahoma on the south. The western
Districts of Kansas still include the few small churches
in eastern Colorado.
Kansas has received the assistance of some able men
from older Districts, such as George W. Studebaker,
Enoch Eby, John Wise, Daniel Vaniman, Andrew Hutch-
ison, Christian Hope, S. Z. Sharp, C. E. Arnold, Edward
Frantz, J. J. Yoder and D. W. Kurtz. The State is in
turn sending forth some very able workers, especially to
the foreign mission field. The churches are taking a
lively interest in building up a strong college at Mc-
Pherson. There is a home for the aged at Darlow.
In 1916 the membership of the four Kansas Districts
was as follows: Northeastern Kansas, twenty-two con-
gregations, 1,600 members; Southeastern Kansas, thir-
teen congregations, 645 members; Northwestern Kansas
and Northeastern Colorado, seventeen congregations,
1,000 members; Southwestern Kansas and Southeastern
86 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Colorado, twenty-two congregations, 1,566 members. The
largest church in Kansas is at McPherson, the home of
McPherson College. The Quinter and Morrill churches
are large and prosperous. The Brethren in Kansas are
prospering financially, and there should be a very bright
future for the church.
A history of the Brethren in Kansas is being prepared
by Prof. E. L. Craik of McPherson College.
Nebraska. The early history of the Nebraska
churches is closely associated with that of Kansas.
Members began locating in this territory in the sixties.
The Bell Creek church, Dodge County, was organized in
1866. During the seventies a number of new congrega-
tions were formed. In 1881 there were fourteen churches
with 620 members. Some of the leaders in the early
years of the Nebraska churches were H. Brubaker, J. J.
Hoover, J. S. Snowberger, J. Y. Heckler, Conrad Fitz,
David Bechtelheimer, Archie Vandyke.
In 1916 there were twenty-one congregations, with a
membership of 1,143. South Beatrice, the largest, was
organized in 1875. Elder Henry Brubaker was the first
Brethren minister here. These were days when there
was much discouragement in this State because of drouth.
A number of churches were organized, only to be aban-
doned in a few years. But the settlers who persevered
and stuck to it have been greatly rewarded. The Bethel
church also was organized in 1875. This congregation,
though not large in numbers, has become one of the most
liberal in the Brotherhood in contributing to missions,
education and charitable purposes. Three of her chil-
dren have been sent to the mission field, while a number
of able ministers in the church were called to the service
EXPANSION AND GROWTH 87
here. Seven of our foreign missionaries come from
In Sunday-school work the State has taken active in-
terest. Its summer assembly, held annually in Chautau-
qua Park, Beatrice, Nebr., was the first organization of
its kind in the Brotherhood. The State has an active,
wide-awake leadership. Nearly all of the churches have
Oklahoma. The first elder to locate in Oklahoma
was Elder Jacob Appleman, who preached at Clarkson
in the fall of 1891. The next year a church was organ-
ized here, known as Paradise Prairie church, with Jacob
Appleman the first elder. This territory was first con-
nected with Southern Kansas, but was later joined to
Texas. In 1897 the Oklahoma District was formed, with
311 members, ten churches, four elders, nineteen minis-
ters, twenty-one deacons and four Sunday-schools. Since
then the work has prospered. Mission work has been
emphasized. For several years Elder J. H. Morris has
been doing very effective work as District Evangelist. In
1916 the membership was over one thousand, located
largely in the north central part of the State. The child
rescue work of this District has attracted wide attention.
The members who live in the Panhandle of Texas and
in New Mexico are also included in the Oklahoma Dis-
Texas formerly was a part of Oklahoma, though now
organized separately. Elder Jacob Berkey began the
work here about 1880. The field has been too large and
the membership too small and scattered to accomplish
very much. The largest churches in this great southern
field are at Nocona and Manvel, Tex., and Roanoke, La.
The entire membership is less than four hundred. The
88 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
General Mission Board is now studying this field with a
view of giving aid in doing more aggressive work.
In Arkansas there was a small church organized
about 1880. Elder James R. Gish of Roanoke, 111., took
much interest in this field and died while working in its in-
terest. Other Brethren at different times have worked to
build up the mission points. A colored mission also was
started, but was closed. The conditions under which our
Brethren must work, and the lack of funds and proper
workers have prevented progress. Arkansas is our
smallest organized State District, with 230 members in
Western Colorado and Utah. In 1895 D. M. Click, a
minister in the Church of the Brethren, located in Grand
Valley, Colo., at Holland, near Grand Junction. The
next year H. H. Winger, also a minister, located at Mount
Garfield, near Palisade. Both ministers began to preach
and start congregations. In 1897 the first church was
organized at Holland, and in 1899 the first churchhouse
built. In 1902 S. Z. Sharp located at Fruita, where a
church was organized in 1904. This church grew rapidly
and some members moved across the State line into Utah,
hence that State also was taken in when a separate State
District was formed in 1910. Other members located at
Hotchkiss, Plateau Valley, Grand Junction and De Beque,
which together constitute the District. This is one of the
smallest State Districts, with a membership of less than
North Dakota and Canada. There were no Brethren
in this great northwest territory prior to 1894. In the
spring of that year Elder A. B. Peters of Northern
Indiana became interested in the prospects for Brethren
finding homes here. About three hundred went out that
EXPANSION AND GROWTH 89
summer. The Cando church was organized August 4,
1894, with eighty-six members, by W. R. Deeter and
Daniel Whitmer. Other churches were organized in the
years following. The churches of the Central States
furnished most of the emigrants for the Dakota churches.
Some of these Brethren, after a few years here, moved
on west and established churches. Among these were
Elder Peters, who became the leader in founding the
church at Wenatchee, Wash.
Canada, which has become the adopted home of many
Brethren, is joined to the North Dakota District. In 1916
there were thirty churches in this great central part of
the Northwest, and 1,500 members. Only one congrega-
tion, Cando, has a membership of over one hundred
members.. This field is large and in need of spiritual
harvesters who can gather the harvest of souls, as well as
the great wheat harvests.
Oregon. The first members to locate in Oregon
came from Indiana in 1850. In 1853 eighteen more fol-
lowed. These located in the Willamette Valley. In 1856
they organized the first congregation in the State, known
as South Santaam. This was later called the Willamette
Valley congregation. The first minister was Daniel
Leedy. The first elder in the State was Elder David
Brower from Iowa, who settled in the Willamette Valley
in 1871. He did much work in caring for these pioneer
In the early seventies several members of the Barklow
family with others settled in Southern Oregon, near
Myrtle Point. A church was organized at Myrtle Point
in December, 1873. In 1878 the first Brethren meeting-
house in the State was built at Myrtle Point. This is now
the largest congregation in the State.
90 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
The Oregon churches were first organized as a District
with Washington and Idaho. It became a separate Dis-
trict in 1912. In 1916 there were twelve congregations,
with 388 members.
Washington and Idaho formerly were included in
the Oregon District.
The first church in Washington was organized at Cen-
tralia, January 3, 1897, with Allen Ives as elder. In 1898
Elder D. B. Eby of Northern Illinois settled at Sunnyside
and soon organized a church. In 1903 Elder A. B.
Peters, who had been very active in church work, both
in Indiana and North Dakota, organized a church at
Wenatchee. This is now the largest of the fourteen con-
gregations in the State. The membership in 1916 was
The first church organized in Idaho was at Nezperce,
November 27, 1897, by Elder Stephen Johnson of Iowa.
Nampa was organized the following year. The Payette
congregation, organized in 1900, grew very rapidly.
Payette and Nezperce are today the largest churches in
the State. In 1916 there were over 750 members in
Washington and Idaho were each organized into a
separate State District in 1912. For early history see
Missionary Visitor for February, 1906.
California. As early as 1858 there was a Brethren
church established in Santa Clara County. The leader in
this settlement was Elder George Wolfe, a nephew of the
Elder George Wolfe of Illinois. This congregation later
moved to the San Joaquin Valley. Some church troubles
later arose and most of these members joined the Pro-
EXPANSION AND GROWTH 91
The oldest of present-day churches in California is
Covina, organized in 1885, with eighteen members. Eld-
ers A. F. Deeter and J. S. Flory were elders in charge.
The first Sunday-school was organized in 1888, with
George F. Chemberlen, superintendent. The first meet-
inghouse was built in 1887. November 1, 1890, the Lords-
burg church was organized with twenty-seven members.
Elder John Metzger, formerly of Indiana and Illinois,
was chosen first bishop. The schoolhouse was their first
place of worship. Then the assembly hall of the college
served them until 1901, when a meetinghouse was built.
This congregation has had the advantages of the college,
and is today the largest Brethren organization in the
State. Other congregations were organized in Southern
California at Los Angeles, Glendora and other places be-
The first District Meeting was held in 1889 at Covina.
There were two churches represented. All of the Cali-
fornia churches were in one District until 1907, when the
following churches were organized into the Northern
District: Oak Grove and Reedley in Fresno County;
Sacramento Valley, Glenn County; Fruitvale, Butte
County; Stanislaus, Stanislaus County, and Butte Valley
in Siskiyou County. Since then eleven other churches
have been established, of which the Empire church is the
largest. Northern California and Nevada has a mem-
bership of over 1,000, while Southern California and
Arizona has over 1500. The churches of the State show
by their liberality their interest in missions. On ac-
count of the excellent climate many Brethren from the
Eastern States have chosen California as their home.
94 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Conrad Beissel was able to influence many men and
women of ability. Some of the most prominent of the
Brethren preachers joined him, including Stephen
Koch, Henry Kalckglasser and George Adam Martin.
Alexander Mack, Jr., spent ten years at Ephrata. The
most noted of all his disciples was Peter Miller, a
prominent Reformed minister. He was the devoted
follower of Beissel while the latter lived, and became
his successor at Ephrata.
The Ephrata Society grew strong. By 1745 there
was a well-organized communal society, with many
things about their work that were attractive. It is
said that they had the best singing in America at that
time. Peter Miller was one of the best linguists of
his day. They were skillful in many arts, especially
in printing. The Ephrata printing press was known
throughout the colonies. At Ephrata there was much
interest in Bible study and in education. Ludwig
Haecker, who began the Sunday-school at German-
town, joined the society at Ephrata and was their su-
perintendent of schools.
Ephrata is in Lancaster County, about forty-five
miles a little north of west from Philadelphia. There
were organizations of this society elsewhere. In York
County, on Bermudian Creek, and in Bedford County
societies were formed. But the most famous of all,
except Ephrata, was at Snowhill, near Waynesboro,
in Franklin County. The Snowhill Nunnery was
known far and near and eventually rivaled the parent
organization at Ephrata. The organization still ex-
ists, with about one hundred members and two preach-
DISUNION AND DIVISIONS 93
Beissel, the founder, died in 1768. In 1770 there
were 135 members at Ephrata. Peter Miller succeed-
ed Beissel as leader. Though a man of ability, the
movement lost force under his direction. Miller died
in 1796. Since then there has been a gradual decline
in the society until today it exists merely in name.
Brumbaugh's History, chapter n.
Holsinger's History, pp. 135-147.
Far-Western Brethren. When members from the
colonial churches joined the westward march of emi-
gration, many of them soon lost connection with the
mother churches. Wherever they settled in any con-
siderable number new organizations were formed. In
general they continued the practices of the church as
they had received them and had them handed down
from the churches in the East. Of course, isolated as
they were, and under entirely new conditions, they
naturally acquired some new ways of doing things. On
the other hand they had lost touch with the Annual
Meeting, which had sanctioned some things, one of
them being the double mode of feet-washing.
One center of these new churches was in Simpson,
Muhlenburg and Shelby Counties, Kentucky. A gen-
eration after they were formed members from the
East began to settle among them. These newcomers
were disturbed by some differences in practice that
they saw. This was reported to Annual Meeting and
a committee was sent to them. Several councils were
said to have been held from 1820-1826. The mode of
feet-washing, slavery and dress were some of the
questions involved. Very little for union was done
and several hundred members were lost to the church.
96 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
From this time to the present there has been but lit-
tle left of the Brethren Church in Kentucky.
In the meantime some of these Kentucky Brethren
had moved farther west and had established churches
in Illinois and Missouri. Here they were all the more
removed from contact with the church in the East.
But out of these pioneer churches have come some
very able men, such as John Hendricks, Isham Gibson,
D. B. Sturgis and George Wolfe.
During the fifties there were several attempts to
bring about a closer union between these Far-Western
Brethren and the main body of the church. This was
accomplished in 1859 when the elders of different con-
gregations in Illinois wrote letters to the Annual
Meeting, assuring the Conference that it was their
desire as far as possible to work in harmony with the
Brotherhood. This caused great joy at the Confer-
ence, which expressed thanks to God for the success-
ful efforts for reunion, and recognized the Far- West-
ern Brethren in full fellowship. In this agreement it
was agreed to bear with these Western Brethren in
their practice of the single mode of feet-washing.
Time has shown that these Brethren were leaders in
getting the church back to the practice of the single
mode of feet-washing and of sisters breaking the
Brumbaugh's History, p. 535.
Holsinger's History, pp. 762-767.
Minutes of Annual Meeting, 1759.
The New Dunkers is a name given to a body that
was organized by dissatisfied members of the Church
of the Brethren in Carroll County, Ind., in 1848. They
are sometimes known as Oimanites, sometimes as
DISUNION AND DIVISIONS 97
Patton Dunkers, and sometimes as The Church of God.
The beginning of this church was about as follows :
In 1828, Peter Eyman (often improperly spelled
Oiman), a minister of the Church of the Brethren,
came from Montgomery County, Ohio, and settled
near where Camden now stands. He was the first
minister of the Bachelor Run congregation. Peter
Replogle was chosen to the ministry in 1829. Some
years after this, trouble arose between these two
brethren and finally resulted in a division of the con-
gregation into the Bachelor Run and Deer Creek or-
ganizations, Peter Eyman remaining with the Bache-
lor Run, and Peter Replogle with Deer Creek. The
dividing line was irregular, so run that members who
had taken one side or the other could live with their
Peter Eyman was a man of considerable influence
and ability. After a few years he began to express
himself as dissatisfied with some views and practices
of the church. He favored the single mode of feet-
washing, desired the privilege of asking applicants for
baptism questions before going into the water, and
wanted the supper on the table during feet-washing.
He was also opposed to the nonsecrecy and noncon-
formity practices of the church. With him became
associated a young minister of talent, George Patton.
Much agitation arose over their preaching. This was
one of the chief causes for a special General Confer-
ence being held here in the fall of 1848. Several ques-
tions were considered, growing out of this movement.
The minute that directly pertains to the trouble reads
as follows :
98 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
" In regard to the difficulties of the Bachelor Run
church with Brothers Oyman and Patton and others,
the brethren in general council considered that there
had been committed errors on both sides, in conse-
quence of which many members of both sides made
satisfactory acknowledgments before the meeting, and
it was concluded that with such, all that is past should
be forgiven and forgotten, and with as many as may
come and make satisfaction, and that they should all
be received into full fellowship and Brother David
Fisher in his office as speaker. Furthermore, this
meeting considers and counsels that Brothers Oyman
and Patton, and such others that hold with them,
should yet have time to reflect and should they come,
also, in a reasonable space of time and make satis-
factory acknowledgment, then the church should also
forgive them. But if they should persist in their con-
trary course, going on holding meetings in opposition
to the church, there would be no other way but to put
them in full avoidance according to First Corinthians
This minute, read closely, will give a very good view
of the situation at this time. The council desired a
reconciliation. But it would seem that the new or-
ganization had already been decided upon in 1848. The
two brethren referred to did not come back, and were
disfellowshiped at a council meeting held in the barn
of Jacob Flora. Others joined the movement. Some
came back, while others did not.
While this body has more generally been known as
the Oimanites, yet most of these people look upon
George Patton as their founder. It was he who acted
DISUNION AND DIVISIONS 99
as foreman when a few met at the house of Peter
Eyman and decided to organize a new church.
Their first question was a name for their new or-
ganization. After reading several scriptures they de-
cided to use the term " Church of God." Under this
name they began a separate body. Peter Eyman
soon died and George Patton was their leading elder.
Their growth has been slow. For years they had
no house of worship. In 1872 a house was built in Ida-
ville, Elder Patton preaching the dedicatory sermon.
Other houses were soon built. Congregations have
been organized in the following counties: Cass, Car-
roll, White, Pulaski, Henry, Wayne and perhaps some
others of which we have not learned. The exact num-
ber we do not know, but is perhaps 1,500.
They accept the fundamental doctrines of Chris-
tianity and practice immersion, feet-washing, com-
munion and the holy kiss.
History of the Church of the Brethren in Indiana, pp. 457-459-
Bowman Brethren. This division occurred in Ten-
nessee. Elder John A. Bowman was a man of more
than ordinary ability, not only as a minister but as a
man of business. Having been appointed administra-
tor of an estate, he was forced to enter suit against
a member to collect a debt. For this the local church
expelled him in 1858. He, however, considered this
action altogether unjust and continued his preaching
and other usual activities of the ministry. Many were
baptized by him.
In 1863 he was shot dead by a Confederate soldier.
His followers desired to be in full fellowship with the
church. In 1866 a committee from Annual Meeting
visited Tennessee. This committee decided that Elder
100 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
John A. Bowman had been illegally disfellowshiped,
and that the Bowman members should be restored to
full fellowship. The committee also made a special
visit to members of the Bowman fraternity, inform-
ing them of the decision. This effected the reunion
and caused great joy to the church in Tennessee.
Holsinger's History, pp. 761-762.
Leedy Brethren. This was largely a local and a
family organization. It existed chiefly in Knox Coun-
ty, Ohio. In the Owl Creek church the Leedys had
been active leaders since the organization of the con-
gregation. But in many points they were considered
liberal. They advocated the single mode of feet-
washing. Dissatisfaction arose. At a council meet-
ing presided over by adjoining elders some members
were disowned. An Annual Meeting committee up-
held the work of the local church and expelled some
The Leedys were the most prominent of those ex-
pelled. They organized a church of their own, but
they did not progress very rapidly. Two congrega-
tions in Ohio, one in Indiana and one in Missouri were
the extent of their growth. They finally united with
the Progressive Brethren in the fall of 1882.
Holsinger's History, pp. 767-771.
Old Order Brethren. A history of the Church of
the Brethren would be incomplete without an account
of the division that occurred in 1881 and 1882. How-
ever painful it may be to relate, most of the attention
of the church for years was directed upon some ques-
tions on which there was division of sentiment. The
division extended in two directions. One party was
dissatisfied with innovations that were rapidly coming
102 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
the Gospel as handed down to us from Christ and the
apostles, through and by the forefathers of the
At the close of the petition a hint was given that
unless the grievances were corrected a division could
not long be delayed. Some of the brethren thought
the petition ought to contain references to other
changes from the established order. So, at a meeting
held in the Bear Creek church near Dayton, Ohio,
March 29, 1869, a supplement was prepared to the
former petition. The purpose of the meeting, as stat-
ed in the supplement, was to adopt " measures con-
sistent with the Gospel, whereby the church may be
cleansed, if possible, from the doctrines and principles
of the popular religion of the day, and to prevent the
further introduction of said doctrines and principles
into our Fraternity "; also to name a few items " for
the sake of those dear brethren who have not had the
age and experience, and perhaps have never had the
opportunity of becoming thoroughly acquainted with
the fundamental principles of our church."
The items mentioned were as follows : First, pro-
tracted meetings. While advocating an active and
industrious ministry, they objected to getting mem-
bers in the church by " working upon the passions of
the people, without giving them sufficient time to re-
flect and consider the cost." Nor did they think it
right to sound through the church papers, in a half-
boastful way, the success in number of additions that
attended the preaching. Second, while they recog-
nized the Christian duty of parents to teach moral and
religious lessons to their children at home, they ob-
jected to Sabbath-schools, which " in themselves pre-
DISUNION AND DIVISIONS 103
sent a very harmless and innocent appearance, but in
reality their tendency is to pride and self-praise."
Third, they found no Scripture authority for " prayer
meetings, social meetings and Bible classes."
The supplement goes on to show that little by little
these things had crept into the church, and " that most
generally where the Brethren have these new orders
among them, fashionable dressing and pride are a
natural consequence." Other denominations had start-
ed plain, but had gone worldlyward. The Brethren
Church was following in the same channel. She was
" too grasping and contending wonderfully for an easy,
pleasant and popular religion, in which there is less
sacrifice and self-denial."
The Annual Meeting of 1869 treated the above peti-
tion and its supplement with due respect and gave an
answer that dealt with every grievance presented.
While the Conference would not do away with the
things objected to, yet it did advise that the utmost
care be taken that all objectionable features of the
innovations referred to be eliminated. This answer
was far from satisfying the plaintiffs, who character-
ized it as a compromise at best ; but it did put off for
a decade the threatened division.
During these years other questions were constantly
coming up that tended still further to separate the
Brethren. Sunday-schools, academies, protracted
meetings, and the single mode of feet-washing were
becoming more and more common. The progressive
part of the church was taking more liberty every
year. On the subject of feet-washing, especially, there
were many bitter disputes. " It is remarkable," says
H. R. Holsinger, " that an intelligent body of such
104 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
devoted people should suffer themselves to become
alienated from each other in regard to the manner of
observing an ordinance which was instituted for the
special purpose of uniting them more closely, by in-
culcating the spirit of self-abnegation and humility."
When the Old Order Brethren could no longer en-
dure the growth of what they considered contrary to
the Gospel, they once more appealed to Annual Meet-
ing. As before, the elders of Southern Ohio were in
the lead. In November, 1879, most of the elders of
the Miami Valley met in the Salem church and framed
the famous Miami Valley Petition. Their list of
grievances now included high schools, Sunday-schools,
protracted meetings, and single mode of feet-washing.
The closing appeal of these elders shows their earnest-
ness in regard to the evils of the church as they saw
them. The District Meeting of Southern Ohio did not
fully indorse this petition, but sent it to the Annual
Meeting of 1880. The Standing Committee felt the
gravity of the situation and carefully framed the fol-
lowing answer, which the Conference passed :
Whereas, Our beloved Fraternity has been considerably
disturbed by brethren holding extreme views, some being
disposed to enforce more rigorously the order of the church
in regard to nonconformity to the world, and the principle
of nonconformity to the world in giving form to our cos-
tume, than has commonly been done by our ancient breth-
ren ; while some, on the other extreme, would abandon the
principle of nonconformity so far as that principle has any-
thing to do with giving form to our costume ; and,
Whereas, The principle of nonconformity in giving form
to our costume, as well as in everything else, has been a
peculiar characteristic of our Fraternity, and is so stated
in our written history, and has had its influence with our
non-swearing and non-combatant and our general principles,
DISUNION AND DIVISIONS 105
identifying our Fraternity with the primitive and apostolic
church in preserving us from the extravagant expenditures
which both the religious and secular world have fallen into,
and obtaining for us as a body the character of simplicity,
honesty, purity, and uprightness in the world; and,
Whereas, It is thought by many, and even so declared, that
as a body we are opposed to all improvements and progress;
Whereas, Contention and strife in the church are great
obstacles in the way of both its holiness and its usefulness;
Resolved, First, that we will labor in the spirit of the
Gospel, and in brotherly love to maintain the principles of
nonconformity in giving form to our costume, and in
every way that the recognized peculiarities of our Fraternity
Resolved, Secondly, that while we declare ourselves con-
servative in maintaining unchanged what may justly be con-
sidered the principles and peculiarities of our Fraternity, we
also believe in the propriety and necessity of so adapting our
labor and our principles to the religious wants of the world
as will render our labor and principles most efficient in pro-
moting the reformation of the world, the edification of the
church and the glory of God. Hence, while we are con-
servative, we are also progressive.
Resolved, Thirdly, that brethren teaching through the
press or ministry, or in any other way, sentiments conflict-
ing with the recognized principles and peculiarities of our
Fraternity, shall be considered offenders and be dealt with
as such. And to specify more particularly the subjects
named in the petition we offer the following as an answer:
"1. Inasmuch as there exists a widespread fear among us
that the Brethren's high schools are likely to operate against
the simplicity of the Gospel of Christ, as also likely to culti-
vate the desire for an exclusive educated ministry; to guard,
therefore, these schools from producing these effects, we
think the principals of these schools should meet and adopt
rules that will prevent such tendency, and said rules to be
in harmony with the principles of Annual Meeting.
106 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
"2. Sabbath-schools, when held in the spirit of the Gospel,
may be made a means of bringing up our children in the
' nurture and admonition of the Lord.' But should have no
picnics and celebrations or any vain things of the popular
Sabbath-schools of the day as connected with them.
"3. All meetings for worship should be held as our stated
or regular meetings are held, and we be cautious not to use
such means as are calculated to get people into the church
without a gospel conversion — such as overpersuasion or ex-
citement — but use the gospel means to get them to turn
away from sin.
"4. In regard to a paid ministry, we believe that it is not
right for brethren to go and labor for churches in the hope
of receiving money for services, nor the offer of money as
an inducement for brethren to preach ; but to poor minis-
ters who are faithful, both in the doctrine and practice of
the church, we would encourage giving toward their neces-
sity; as also defraying the expenses of traveling in attend-
ing to church interests.
" 5. Inasmuch as our old fathers have always admitted
the validity of the two modes of feet-washing, and as much
as we desire a more perfect union in this matter, we can-
not condemn either mode as being invalid. And inasmuch
as former decisions have failed to settle this question to the
satisfaction of all, we advise more forbearance and liberty to
the conscience of our brethren in this matter, because both
have been practiced among us, and the best way to stop
the agitation of this question is to allow the same liberty
of conscience for our brethren that we ask for ourselves.
But this shall not be construed to annul the present decision
and advice of Annual Meeting."
This reply was far from satisfactory to those who
had sent the petition. The fact that the Conference
attempted to throw safeguards around various insti-
tutions availed nothing; for in the eyes of the plain-
tiffs, the Annual Meeting, by this very act, acknowl-
edged the legal existence of these things in the church.
They now saw that the single mode of feet-washing
DISUNION AND DIVISIONS 107
had come to stay. Two expressions of the report were
especially offensive; First, " The best way to stop the
agitation of this question is to allow the same liberty
of conscience for our brethren that we ask for our-
selves "; and second, " While we are conservative, we
are also progressive." Liberty of conscience and pro-
gression were two expressions intolerable to them.
They were also seriously opposed to taking and print-
ing a full report of the Annual Meeting.
The Southern Ohio brethren resolved to make one
more attempt to get their desires recognized by the
Conference. They called a meeting, to convene in the
Wolf Creek church December 8, 1880. To this meet-
ing all the " faithful and steadfast brethren — both in
the ministry and at the visit — who are in favor of the
ancient and apostolic order of the church, as set forth
in said petition, are most heartily invited."
The meeting was held at the time appointed. Many
prominent brethren from different States were pres-
ent. A series of resolutions were passed and sent to
Annual Meeting. These resolutions demanded that
single mode of feet-washing, Sunday-schools, pro-
tracted meetings, high schools, paid ministry and or-
ganized missionary work be at once put away. In
short, nothing would satisfy them but for Annual
Meeting to declare illegal every change of the last
The result was such as might have been expected.
The Annual Meeting of 1881 refused to yield to the
demands and readopted the decision of 1880 regarding
the Miami Valley Petition. It was now evident that
the Old Order Brethren could expect nothing more
from Annual Meeting, and the only means of secur-
108 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
ing their own way was to separate entirely from the
church. After due announcement, a meeting was held
in the Ludlow and Painter Creek church, near Arca-
num, Ohio, August 24, 1881. A large congregation
was present, and after much deliberation the meeting
passed a paper, which reviewed their grievances, set
forth their principles and outlined their future policy.
These resolutions were signed by fifteen elders. The
movement spread rapidly but the division was not ef-
fected peacefully. Those who accepted the resolutions
were very soon disfellowshiped from the churches of
Southern Ohio. The Annual Meeting of 1882 recog-
nized the legality of these expulsions. The Reasons
complained bitterly the way old and faithful brethren
and sisters were excommunicated. But it is difficult
to see what other course was open. The Old Order
Brethren were most intolerant themselves, and fully
intended, wherever they could, to disown all who
would not agree with them. In many places congre-
gations were very evenly divided, and there much con-
flict arose, especially over the possession of church
property. The fact is that on both sides many things
were said and done that were better left unrecorded.
At a meeting held in the barn of Abraham Landis,
in the bounds of the Salem church, Montgomery
County, Ohio, the new organization took the name of
Old German Baptist Brethren, and arrangements were
made for a General Conference. Large numbers were
joining them all over the country. In all, about three
thousand were thus lost to the Conservatives. At
their first Annual Meeting, held at Brookville, Ohio,
in 1882, congregations were represented from nine
different States. These meetings have been held year-
DISUNION AND DIVISIONS 109
ly ever since on Pentecost. The questions brought
and the manner of their decisions show that the church
is still that of the nonprogressive, Old Order Brethren.
After the division movement had spent its force, their
numbers ceased to increase, and at present they are
The Brethren's Reasons.
Holsinger's History, pp. 415-469.
Annual Meeting Minutes of 1869, 1880, 1881 and 1882.
Annual Meeting Reports of 1880, 1881 and 1882.
The Progressive Brethren. The division in the
Church of the Brethren furnishes us an interesting ex-
ample of how far apart honest men may come to dif-
fer in their opinions. We have just seen how worldly
and fast the Old Order Brethren considered the An-
nual Meeting to be. At the same time the Progressive
Brethren thought this same Conference to be, beyond
all reason, too slow in making changes.
The Progressive movement largely centers around
one man, H. R. Holsinger, who was more responsible
than any other one man for the division. In his his-
tory of the Tunkers and Brethren church, he has given
a very complete, though naturally a somewhat one-
sided account of the various steps that led to the di-
vision. In introducing his account Holsinger says:
" With the appearance of the Gospel Visitor, 1851, was
ushered in the progressive era of the Tunker church.
It was so prophesied by its opposers, and we must do
them the honor of stating that they were true prophets
in each case." As stated elsewhere, Holsinger served
for a time as an assistant on the Gospel Visitor, but
believing in a more progressive and a weekly paper,
110 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
he began publishing the Christian Family Companion
There were many things in the church, as Holsing-
er saw it, that were very irritating to him. He be-
lieved that the ministry of the church ought to be bet-
ter educated. Especially was it wrong that so much
power be concentrated in the hands of ignorant eld-
ers, many of whom, he declares, could scarcely read a
chapter in the Bible intelligently. Then, too, order in
dress and church ritual was everywhere insisted upon
while many of the vital questions of the day were
In his new paper, Holsinger adopted the policy of
a free rostrum for the discussion of all subjects per-
taining to the work of the church. He believed that
the church was in need of great reformation, and was
not slow in giving his views in his editorials. It is no
wonder that much opposition was stirred up, some of
which was very inconsistent, especially in the light of
the present practice of the church. Many of the things
for which Holsinger contended have long since been
sanctioned by Annual Meeting. Had he only been
more considerate in his method of presenting his
views, he might have more easily convinced the Breth-
ren and thus avoided the division later.
At the Conference of 1867, in Carroll County, Md.,
he raised quite a commotion by insisting on what he
considered the gospel method of setting apart deacons,
instead of the established order of the church. Again,
in 1869, he was much censured for trying to force a
report on Annual Meeting. He was hasty and plain
out with his thoughts, both in speech and writing ; and
so there was no end of his trouble with the brethren
DISUNION AND DIVISIONS 111
who sincerely felt that his teachings were a great
menace to the welfare of the church.
Holsinger himself became tired of being at variance
continually with the brethren, but he felt that as long
as he was editing a church paper he had to speak his
convictions. So he sought an interview with Elder
James Quinter, editor of the Gospel Visitor, and of-
fered to sell to him. Elder Quinter accepted the propo-
sition and combined the two papers. The free rostrum
was now eliminated, for Elder Quinter, while believ-
ing in some reforms, was much more conservative in
the method of advocating them.
In the fall of 1878 Holsinger, in connection with J.
W. Beer, started the Progressive Christian at Berlin,
Pa., " with the avowed purpose of advocating pro-
gressive measures and reforms." It was through this
paper that Holsinger came into a determined conflict
with Annual Meeting, which finally led to his expul-
sion and the organization of the Progressive Brethren
As a result of several queries sent by several State
Districts to the Annual Meeting of 1879, Holsinger
and some contributors to his paper were required to
make satisfaction for certain schismatic articles that
had appeared in the Progressive Christian. The Con-
ference also attempted to throw safeguards around all
the various church papers by appointing a committee,
whose duty it was to see that these periodicals admit-
ted no articles that would disturb the peace of the
Elder J. W. Beer now felt that the paper should be
run in a more conservative way, but Holsinger object-
ed, and later sold out his interest to the senior editor.
112 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Elder Beer soon found the business an unpaying one
and stopped the paper. In May, 1880, it was revived
by Howard Miller and H. R. Holsinger, the latter soon
becoming sole proprietor and editor. The policy of the
paper was henceforth radically progressive. Schis-
matic articles appeared in the editorial columns and
the essay department. Great alarm was felt by the
conservative brethren everywhere, and in 1881 there
were no fewer than five petitions presented by State
Districts to the Annual Meeting at Ashland, Ohio.
The report of this year shows that the session was a
stormy one. After a long discussion a committee was
appointed to wait on Elder Holsinger in his home
church. This committee, consisting of John Wise,
Enoch Eby, David Long, Joseph Kauffman and Chris-
tian Bucher, is known as the Berlin Committee.
This committee met at the Berlin church August 9
and 10, 1881. But neither did H. R. Holsinger nor the
Berlin church agree to the method of the committee
in trying the case. On the second day the committee
reported to the church as follows :
In view of the above considerations, especially in view of
the fact that Brother H. R. Holsinger refused to have his
case investigated by the committee in harmony with the
Gospel as interpreted by Annual Meeting, and the consent
of our General Brotherhood, and inasmuch as Brother H. R.
Holsinger and the Berlin church assumed all responsibility
in the case, therefore we decided: that Brother H. R. Hol-
singer cannot be held in fellowship in the Brotherhood, and
all who depart with him shall be held responsible to the
action of the next Annual Meeting.
It is doubtful if any other Annual Meeting of the
Church of the Brethren was ever awaited with such
fearful forebodings as the one of 1882. Elder Hoi-
DISUNION AND DIVISIONS 113
singer and those who sympathized with him did not
consider the work of the committee legal, while many
who did not sympathize with him felt that the com-
mittee had overstepped its bounds. On the other hand,
the majority of the church felt that patience with
Elder Holsinger had ceased to be a virtue, and that
the decision of the committee was the best thing pos-
sible under the circumstances. In the meantime, Elder
Holsinger continued his work as a minister and
bishop ; and as an editor he was never more active
than during these months following his expulsion by
the committee. Many articles appeared in the Pro-
gressive Christian from his friends, who vigorously
lampooned the committee for their action. This only
caused the situation to become more intense, and all
looked forward to see whether the Annual Meeting
would accept the report of the committee.
After the above report was read at Arnold's Grove,
Elder John Wise made an explanation of their work
and gave reasons both from the Minutes of Annual
Meeting and the Gospel to uphold the course of the
committee. D. C. Moomaw then presented what he
termed the Olive Branch of Peace. According to this,
Elder Holsinger was to make satisfaction for his past
offenses, and to promise to conduct himself in the fu-
ture in harmony with the doctrine and practices of the
church. In order that this paper might be examined
by Holsinger's friends before they endorsed it, Brother
Moomaw desired that final decision be put off till the
Following this, a heated discussion began and con-
tinued during most of the day. Holsinger's friends,
and even many who had been his greatest opponents.
114 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
contended that he ought to have one more chance to
set himself right. Others believed that the time for
this was passed until the Conference had accepted the
report of the committee ; then if Elder Holsinger was
sincere in his desire to work with the church, he could
be reinstated at any time in the regular way. He,
however, said that while he could acknowledge to An-
nual Meeting that he had made mistakes, he could
never acknowledge that the work of that committee
was legal. When the motion to accept the committee's
report was put to the meeting it was declared adopted.
Immediately after the report of the Berlin Com-
mittee was accepted, a meeting was arranged for by
Holsinger's friends to consider what steps should be
taken. This meeting met at a schoolhouse one mile
west of the Conference ground. Elder P. J. Brown
was chairman. A resolution of sympathy was extend-
ed to H. R. Holsinger. A petition addressed to the
Standing Committee was drawn up, to the effect that
another effort be made to effect a reconciliation and
prevent another division in the church. The Standing
Committee refused to consider this petition, on the
ground that it had not come in the proper way through
a District Meeting.
A division, such as the Old Order Brethren had ef-
fected nine months before, was now decided upon. A
series of resolutions was passed and a convention was
called to be held at Ashland, Ohio, June 29, 1882. At
this convention delegates from many States were pres-
ent. A declaration of principles was adopted. In this
their principles were set forth, the abuses and errors
of the mother church were recited, their own efforts
for reform were given, and finally a resolution was
DISUNION AND DIVISIONS 115
made that they had not seceded, but were the true
conservators of the Brethren Church that had been
organized in Germany in 1708.
It was further agreed that a General Convention
should be held only when necessary. A committee was
appointed to make efforts to consolidate with various
kindred denominations known as Congregational
Brethren, Leedy Brethren, River Brethren, Conserva-
tive Brethren and Shoemaker Brethren. Another com-
mittee was appointed to reconstruct and organize
churches. It is estimated that about six thousand five
hundred members left the old mother church to go
with the Progressive movement. The first General
Convention was held at Dayton, Ohio, June 7, 1883.
Here the name, " The Brethren Church," was adopted
as their church name.
The Brethren Church now began its career as a
separate institution. The publishing house at Ash-
land, Ohio, and the college at the same place were con-
trolled by trustees, the majority of whom were in sym-
pathy with progressive ideas, and so> passed into the
hands of the new organization. The second General
Convention was held at Ashland, Ohio, September 21,
1887, and the third at Warsaw, Ind., August 23, 1892.
Since then the Conference has met almost yearly.
Life of Elder R. H. Miller, chapter 6.
Holsinger's History, chapter 14.
Annual Meeting Minutes of 1881 and 1882.
Annual Meeting Reports of 1881 and 1882.
Reconstruction and Progress. These former differ-
ences and divisions cannot but be a source of great re-
gret to those who love the Dunker Brethren. In many
instances the membership was not so much divided
116 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
as some imagined. The differences were often those
concerning methods rather than differences in prin-
ciples. A little more brotherly love, a little more
Christian forbearance, a little more tact on the part
of the leadership would have avoided many of these
unpleasant results. On both sides evidently mistakes
were made. But why trace them further? Only as
a matter which the historian can scarcely omit, and as
a lesson and warning for the church of the future, are
these pages given.
Since the division of the early eighties, the Church
of the Brethren has been moving forward along lines
of substantial progress. Out of the disconnected pub-
lishing interests has grown up a large publishing es-
tablishment owned and controlled by the church.
From a small beginning of only two schools, strug-
gling for existence, have grown ten schools that are
becoming well equipped for service. From a very
small beginning of foreign missions have grown the
present mission fields and the large interest taken in
them. Other lines of modern church activities are
emphasized. It is by placing emphasis upon practical
Christian work in harmony with the Master's teach-
ings, that the church can hope to avoid further di-
References and Readings
Church papers, 1879-188$.
Full Reports of Annual Meeting, 1879-1882.
The Brethren's Reasons.
Life of Elder R. H. Miller, chapter six.
The Church and Missions
The history of the Church of the Brethren in Germany
shows that there was a good missionary spirit existing
there. Many of the leaders were active in preaching the
Gospel and endured much persecution in doing so. The
colonial church also was zealous in witnessing to the truth
as she had received it. It is the purpose of this chapter
to show how this spirit was manifested in the growth and
development of the church.
A Century of Home Mission Work. The Brethren
were among the first to join the western march of emi-
gration and settlements. From the mother colonial
churches representatives went forth to new settlements.
Wherever a sufficient number were gathered, a new con-
gregation was organized. These pioneer churches in turn
became mother churches for those who went on " Out
West." And so the Ark of the Lord went forward, now
resting, now marching, until the Pacific said " Halt ! "
But there was left behind a line of churches from ocean
Was the church a missionary church in those days?
Most assuredly it was. A study of the lives of some of
these pioneers like Jacob Miller, George Wolfe, John
Metzger, James Quinter, Enoch Eby and others will
show that they possessed the true missionary spirit. The
story of their life and work reads like a romance, so full
of activity, interest and wonderful results. No foreign
118 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
missionary ever manifested more zeal and sacrifice than
some of these home workers. It is true they did not
organize a foreign missionary society, but their hands
were full of the work just before them.
Their efforts resulted not merely in a scattered mem-
bership, but in a large increase in membership. During
this time the church membership increased nearly one
hundred fold. The bases of most of our strong churches
and State Districts were made sure during these times.
But along with this activity on the part of many lead-
ers and of many of the laity, the historian must record a
growing indifference and selfishness on the part of many,
perhaps a' large part of the membership. Had the main
body of the church manifested the zeal of some of the
leaders, the church membership today should have been
much larger. But instead of this there was a suspicion
and opposition to organized home and foreign mission
work that hindered its progress for years.
First Efforts for United Action. In 1852, in answer
to a query concerning mission work, the Conference
" acknowledged the great commission of Christ to its full
extent, and that it is the duty of the church, the ministers
and every private member to do all that is in their power
to fulfill that commission in accordance with Apostolic
practice." — Annual Meeting Minutes, 1852, article 8.
This was a good decision, but nothing was done to
carry it out. In 1856 a query from Virginia asked for
something to be done, but Conference could only " recom-
mend the subject to the serious consideration of all the
churches." Conference itself took no forward action
until 1859, when a committee was appointed to present a
plan by which the declaration of 1852 might be carried
THE CHURCH AND MISSIONS 119
A committee of six was appointed, but the names of
only four appear in the report of 1860. These were D. P.
Sayler, John Kline, John Metzger, and James Quinter.
They presented a good plan by which to begin the work.
But the meeting this year, held in Washington County,
Tenn., was small and the matter was deferred. The
Civil War was on hand to prevent any further considera-
tion at that time. Nothing was done until 1868 when the
plan offered in 1860 was adopted. However, there was
no action taken to organize the work, and though later
petitions sought to get both home and foreign work start-
ed by Conference, nothing was done until 1880. (Read
A. M. Minutes, 1868, Art. 21.)
The First Foreign Mission of the Church. The
Foreign Mission work of the Church of the Brethren was
started, not by the Annual Meeting, but by the District of
Northern Illinois. The occasion for this is interesting.
A young man from Denmark, Christian Hope, who, after
much earnest search for a church that would meet his
belief as to what a church ought to be, found the Brethren
and was baptized in the Hickory Grove congregation,
Northern Illinois, October 25, 1874. Brother Hope at
once became interested in getting literature for his Den-
mark friends to read. Through the encouragement of
M. M. Eshelman a fund was secured, some Danish tracts
printed and sent on their mission of love.
These Brethren tracts reached Christian Hansen, a
young man in Denmark. He was convinced of the truth
and wrote to the Hickory Grove congregation, asking
that the Gospel be preached in his country, and that he be
received in membership. The Hickory Grove church at
once appealed to Northern Illinois, and that District was
quick to respond. At a special District Meeting at the
120 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Cherry Grove church, near Lanark, in the fall of 1875,
these petitions were considered. The Macedonian call
was heard and responded to. Brother Christian Hope
was called to the ministry on that day and given com-
mission to proceed at once to Denmark. Two other
brethren with their wives were chosen to follow as soon
as arrangements could be made.
In January, 1876, Brother Hope and family reached
Denmark and entered upon their mission. In May of that
year their first converts were baptized. In the fall of
1877, Elders Enoch Eby and Daniel Fry, accompanied by
their wives, arrived in Denmark. They found ten mem-
bers in the church. Others were added during their stay.
Brother Hope was soon ordained to the eldership and
Brother Eskildsen chosen to the ministry. Before the
American missionaries returned home a church was or-
ganized with thirteen members. The work continued to
grow, and in 1880 there was a membership in Denmark
At home this work was looked upon with joy by some,
with suspicion by many. The first attempts to get the
Conference to approve and to assist failed. In 1878 the
work was approved, but left in the care of Northern
Illinois. It should be remembered that the church at this
time was still largely influenced by the Old Order Breth-
ren, who were suspicious of all organized missionary
effort. — Thirty-Three Years of Missions, chapter III.
General Organization Begun. In the meantime this
missionary spirit had been growing stronger. A plan
was presented to the Conference of 1878 for a general
organization. This was not passed, but it brought the
question strongly before the church. In 1879 the ques-
tion was again brought to Conference, but was de-
THE CHURCH AND MISSIONS 121
f erred for a year. In 1880 a plan was adopted and a
" Domestic and Foreign Mission Board " appointed.
The members of this board were Enoch Eby, presi-
dent, S. T. Bosserman, secretary, James Quinter,
treasurer, Joseph Leedy and D. E. Brubaker. This
board continued for four years. They made a good
beginning, though the progress was much hindered by
the confusion in the church, resulting in the Old Order
Brethren and Progressive Brethren divisions. There
was much discussion of the work in the several church
papers and many discouragements for the committee.
But their work under these conditions was prepara-
tory for greater things to come. June 5, 1884, the
Foreign and Domestic Missionary Board held its last
meeting and turned over its work to a new committee
just appointed. — Thirty-Three Years of Missions, chap-
General Church Erection and Missionary Committee.
In 1883 two papers came to the Conference, asking
for a better plan of raising funds for church work. A
committee was appointed to prepare a plan to present
to the Conference of 1884. The plan adopted proved
to be a most successful one, under which the Church of
the Brethren, as a body, developed successfully her
present missionary activities. The committee appoint-
ed in 1884, with its organization was as follows : Enoch
Eby, foreman ; Daniel Vaniman, assistant foreman ;
D. L. Miller, secretary-treasurer ; C. P. Rowland and
This board began its work with great faith and
enthusiasm. In 1885 the first missionary meeting was
held at the Conference. The larger part of their work
had to do with home missions. Brethren were making
122 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
settlements in the West and asked for help in estab-
lishing churches, especially to build meetinghouses.
While assisting in this, the board was developing the
work in Denmark and Sweden and earnestly looking
forward to the time when they could enter fields farther
away. — Thirty-Three Years of Missions, chapter V.
Book and Tract Committee. Certain brethren, as
individuals, began the use of tracts early in the seven-
ties. J. H. Moore and M. M. Eshelman, of the Breth-
ren at Work, were strong advocates of their use.
About 1876 a private organization, known as " The
Gospel Tract Association," was formed with head-
quarters at Lanark, 111. This association did much
good, not only in distributing literature, but in bring-
ing the work into favor in the Brotherhood. In 1885
the Annual Meeting was unanimous in adopting a
plan for more aggressive work, and appointed its first
committee : S. D. Royer, S. W. Hoover, Adam Minnich,
B. F. Miller, Jacob Hepner and Samuel Bock. At the
same time a tract examining committee was chosen :
Enoch Eby, R. H. Miller, Landon West, B. F. Moomaw
and S. S. Mohler. — Annual Meeting Minutes, 1885, Art.
With the recognition and direction of Conference
this work became a power, not only in mission work
but also in teaching the membership. Some very ex-
cellent tracts were printed, setting forth the principles
and practices of the church. Up to 1894 the committee
had expended about $22,000 and had distributed nearly
two million tracts and books. In 1894 the Book and
Tract Committee was combined with the General
Church Erection and Missionary Committee, the two
THE CHURCH AND MISSIONS 123
being given the title of General Missionary and Tract
Committee. — Thirty-Three Years of Missions, chap-
General Mission Board. From 1894 to 1908 the com-
mittee was known as the General Missionary and
Tract Committee. When the name of the church was
changed, in 1908, the name of its missionary commit-
tee was changed to that of General Mission Board. In
the twenty-five years since 1894 the work of this
committee has grown to large proportions. Only a
few of the facts concerning the many activities of the
board can here be given.
India Mission. In 1894 the Church of the Brethren
sent her first missionaries to so-called heathen lands.
The call of India's heathen millions had not only
reached the board, but the church back of them, and
had touched the hearts of workers who were ready to
go. W. B. Stover and wife and Bertha Ryan, with
the appointment of the Mission Board and the approv-
al of Annual Meeting, sailed for India and landed at
Bombay November 24, 1894.
After a careful study of the India field the new mis-
sionaries selected the Gujerati territory and located at
Bulsar, March 8, 1895. In the same year they were
visited and encouraged by Elder D. L. Miller and
wife. After two years of labor the missionaries were
rewarded by the baptism of eleven converts, April 25,
1897. In the fall of that year the terrible famine
brought to the mission new opportunities of minister-
ing to the perishing thousands of that land.
Reinforcements were sent out in 1897, when Elder
S. N. McCann, Sister Elizabeth Gibbel and Brother
and Sister D. L. Forney were appointed. Brother Mc-
124 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Cann and Sister Gibbel were married after they
reached the field. Other helpers came year after year,
while some had to return. All of the 1897 party later
returned home permanently on account of health. In
twenty-five years more than sixty men and women
have been sent to the India field.
MISSIONARIES TO INDIA
* Have died in service
t Returned from the field
Name Home Address Year Appointed
Alley, Howard L., Fishersville, Va 1917
Alley, Mrs. Howard,
(Hattie Zelma Miller), Fishersville, Va., 1917
Arnold, S. Ira Leeton, Mo., 1913
Arnold, Mrs. Ira,
(Elizabeth Bartholow), ..Yale, Iowa 1913
tBerkebile, S. P., Delta, Ohio, 1904
tBerkebile, Mrs. S. P.,
(Nora Flory) Jewell, Ohio, 1904
Blough, Jacob M., Huntingdon, Pa., 1903
Blough, Mrs. J. M.,
(Anna Detwiler) Johnstown, Pa., 1903
* Brubaker, C. H, Virden, 111 1906
fBrubaker, Mrs. C. H.
(Ella Miller), Nappanee, Ind 1906
Cottrell, Dr. A. R. North Manchester, Ind., 1913
Cottrell, Mrs. A. R.
(Laura Murphy), Greenville, Ohio, 1913
Ebbert, Ella, Quinter, Kans 1917
Ebey, Adam, Wawaka, Ind 1900
Ebey, Mrs. Adam
(Alice King), North Manchester, Ind., 1900
Eby, Anna Trotwood, Ohio, 1912
Eby, Enoch, Summerfield, Kans 1904
Eby, Mrs. Enoch
(Emma Horner) Carlisle, Nebr 1904
Emmert, Jesse B Waynesboro, Pa., 1902
Emmert, Mrs. Jesse B.
(Gertrude Rowland), Reids, Md., 1904
THE CHURCH AND MISSIONS 125
t Forney, Daniel L Mt. Morris, 111 1897
t Forney, Mrs. D. L.
(Anna Shull) Virden, 111., 1897
Garner, Holly P Union Bridge, Md 1916
Garner, Mrs. Holly P.
(Kathryn Barkdoll) Batavia, 111 1916
Grisso, Lillian, North Manchester, Ind., 1917
Heisey, H. B Johnstown, Pa 1912
Heisey, Mrs. H. B.
(Grace Nedrow), Jones Mills, Pa., 1912
Himmelsbaugh, Ida Altoona, Pa., 1908
Hoffert, A. T. Carleton, Nehr 1916
t Holsopple, Quincy A., Johnstown, Pa. 1917
t Holsopple, Mrs. Quincy
(Kathren Royer) Elgin, 111 1917
Kaylor, John I., Bellefontaine, Ohio 1911
* Kaylor, Mrs. J. I.
(Rosa Wagoner) Pyrmont, Ind 1911
Lichty, Daniel J., Waterloo, Iowa 1902
*Lichty, Mrs. D. J.
(Nora Arnold) Lintner, 111 1903
Long, Isaac S., Harrisonburg, Va 1903
Long, Mrs. I. S.
(Effie Showalter) Harrisonburg, Va 1903
* McCann, S. N Bridgewater, Va 1897
t McCann, Mrs. S. N.
(Elizabeth Gibbel) Lititz, Pa 1897
Miller, Eliza B Waterloo, Iowa 1900
Miller, Sadie J Waterloo, Iowa, 1903
Mohler, Jennie, Leeton, Mo., 1916
Mow, Anetta, Weiser, Idaho 1917
Nickey, Dr. Barbara, Kearney, Nebr 1914
Pittenger, John M., Pleasant Hill, Ohio, 1904
Pittenger, Mrs. John M.
(Florence Baker) Grantsville, Md. 1904
Powell, Josephine, Williarasport, Ind 1906
♦Quinter, Mary N Huntingdon, Pa 1903
Ross, Amos W Sidney, Ind 1904
126 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Ross, Mrs. A. W.
(Flora Nickey) Kearney, Nebr., 1904
Royer, B. Mary, Lebanon, Pa 1913
t Shirk, Mrs. Harvey F.
(Bertha Ryan) Alvo, Nebr 1894
Shumaker, Ida C, Meyersdale, Pa., 1910
Stover, Wilbur B., Mt. Morris, 111 1894
Stover, Mrs. W. B.
(Mary Emmert) Mt. Carroll, 111., 1894
Swartz, Goldie Ashland, Ohio 1916
Widdowson, S. Olive Indiana, Pa., 1912
t Yereman, Dr. O. H Smyrna 1903
Zeigler, Kathryn, Lancaster, Pa., 1908
The following, taken from the Brethren Yearbook
of 1918, gives the location of the field and a view of the
work that has been done :
This field lies on the west coast of India, the southern
boundary of which is about sixty miles north of Bombay.
The field is about 145 miles in length, north and south, by
fifty miles wide. Two small blocks of this are occupied by
other missions, leaving to our mission about 5,900 square
miles of territory, with an estimated population in 1914 of
Ahwa. — Established 1907. Buildings here are a bungalow,
and several school-buildings, also a boarding-school. Evan-
gelistic, educational and medical work maintained. While
some medical work is done at all stations, hospitals are lo-
cated at Bulsar and Dahanu. Missionaries resident, 2.
Eleven baptisms during the year. Membership, December
31, 1916, 52. Seven teachers, 6 Bible women, 6 out-stations,
350 villages to be evangelized.
Anklesvar. — Established 1899. Buildings here are 2 bunga-
lows, with school-buildings ; churchhouse contemplated.
Educational, evangelistic and medical work maintained.
Missionaries resident, 5. Twenty baptisms during year.
Membership, December 31, 1916, 476. Twenty-two teachers,
13 Bible women, 15 out-stations, 150 villages to be evangel-
ized. Here much famine work was done in our early days.
THE CHURCH AND MISSIONS
Buliar. — Established 189S. Buildings here, 2 bungalows,
church, hospital, Boys' and Girls' Boarding-schools, Bible
School. Educational, evangelistic, industrial and medical
work maintained. Missionaries resident, 10. Sixteen bap-
tisms. Membership, 186. Nineteen teachers, 1 Bible woman,
5 out-stations, 365 villages to be evangelized.
128 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Dahanu. — Established 1902. Buildings here, 2 bungalows
and church ; hospital being erected. Educational, evangel-
istic and medical work maintained. Missionaries resident,
8. Membership, 39. Twelve teachers, 12 Bible women, 13
out-stations, 504 villages to be evangelized.
Jalalpor. — Established 1898. Buildings here, bungalow,
school-buildings. Educational, evangelistic and medical
work maintained. Missionaries resident, 3. Baptized, 6.
Membership, 36. Seventeen teachers, 3 Bible women, 8 out-
stations, 331 villages to be evangelized.
Vada. — Established 1905. Buildings here, bungalow and
necessary school-buildings. Educational, evangelistic and
medical work maintained. Missionaries resident, 2. Bap-
tisms, 3. Membership, 16. Ten teachers, 3 Bible women, 7
out-stations, 153 villages to be evangelized.
Vali. — Established 1900. Buildings here, bungalow, church,
boarding-school, and necessary school-buildings. Educa-
tional, evangelistic, medical and industrial work maintained.
Missionaries resident, 2. Two churches organized. Five
baptisms, 119 membership, 18 teachers, 6 Bible women, 14 out-
stations ; 682 villages to be evangelized.
Vyara. — Established 1905. Buildings here, bungalow, Boys'
and Girls' Boarding-school buildings. Educational, evan-
gelistic and medical work maintained. Missionaries resi-
dent, 3. Baptisms, 96. Membership, 520. Twenty-three
teachers, 9 Bible women, 19 out-stations, 474 villages to be
China. For years there had been a growing convic-
tion among the Brethren that there should be a mis-
sion opened in China. J. S. Andes, by a series of well-
prepared articles, stirred up much interest in the
movement. On recommendation of the General Mis-
sion Board, the Conference of 1906 approved for the
China field, F. H. Crumpacker and wife and Emma
Horning. They remained in the homeland two more
years making greater preparation, and working up a
larger interest in the cause of missions. The 1908
THE CHURCH AND MISSIONS 129
Conference approved of George W. Hilton and wife
for China. In September, 1908, these five persons
sailed for the new field.
The Shansi Province was selected as their territory,
and in 1909 the Brethren missionaries located at Ping
Ting Chou. The next year Brother and Sister Hilton
had to return on account of sickness. April 3, 1910,
the first converts were baptized. The 1910 Conference
sent Sister Minerva Metzger to the field. In 1911 the
China force of workers was largely increased by the
following: B. F. Heckman, wife and two children,
Homer Bright, wife and two children, Anna Hutchi-
son and Winnie Cripe ; George Hilton, wife and son
In the fall of 1912 a new mission station was opened
in the southern part of the Shansi Province by the
Hiltons, Brights and Sisters Cripe and Hutchison.
The following January, Brother B. F. Heckman died
of the smallpox scourge. His death, without medical
attention, stirred up medical volunteers at home, and
soon two doctors and their wives were on the field.
The work has continued to grow and the outlook is
very encouraging. This field is in the province of
Shansi, North China, about the central part of the
province to the east side. It is 135 miles long, north
and south, and fifty miles wide. The population in
1914 was estimated at 1,000,000.
"Ping Ting Hsien opened in 1910. First baptisms, April
17, 1911. First love-feast, May 10, 1911. Buildings here are
church, Boys' School, Girls' School, two residences, hospital
in construction. Three out-stations. Evangelistic, medical,
educational and industrial work maintained. Missionaries
resident, 12. Church membership, December 31, 1916, ISO, S3
HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
being baptized during 1916. There are 123 pupils in Ping
Liao Chou. — Opened 1912. First baptisms, September, 1912.
Buildings here for Boys' School, with hospital in course of
construction. Others contemplated, doctor's residence and
THE CHURCH AND MISSIONS 131
Girls' School. Two out-stations. Evangelistic, educational
and medical work maintained. Missionaries resident, 10.
Church membership, December 31, 1916, 69, of whom
twenty were baptized during 1916. There are 80 in Liao
Shou Yang. — Opened 1919. Purchased from the English
Baptists. The plant consists of a number of buildings pur-
chased, and others rented. Six workers have been assigned
to this new post.
MISSIONARIES TO CHINA
Blough, Anna V., Waterloo, Iowa 1913
Bowman, Samuel Quinter, Kans., 1918
Bowman, Mrs. Samuel l : .'J % ''
(Pearl C. Stauffer) Fredonia', Kans., 1918
Bright, J. Homer Dayton, Ohio, 1911
Bright, Mrs. J. Homer
(Minnie Flory), Union, Ohio, '. 1911
Brubaker, Dr. O. G Burlington, Ind 1913
Brubaker, Mrs. O. G. P"»4 V 3 ,'■' I
(Cora Cripe), Cerro Gordo, 111., 1913
Clapper, V. Grace, Point Borough, Pa 1917
Cripe, Winnie, North Liberty, Ind., 1911
Crumpacker, F. H., McPherson, Kans. 1906
Crumpacker, Mrs. F. H.
(Anna Newland) Conway Springs, Kans., ..1906
Flory, Byron, New Hope, Va., 1917
Flory, Mrs. Byron
(Nora A. Phillips), Waynesboro, Va., 1917
Flory, Edna, New Hope, Va., 1917
Flory, Raymond C McPherson, Kans 1914
Flory, Mrs. R. C.
(Lizzie Neher), La Verne, Calif., 1914
♦Heckman, B. F Cerro Gordo, 111 1911
t Heckman, Mrs. B. F.
(Minnie Mote) Union City, Ohio 1911
Heisey, J. W Union, Ohio : 1917
Heisey, Mrs. J. W.
(Sue Rinehart) Boston, Ind., 1917
132 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
t Hilton, George W., Carrington, N. D 1908
t Hilton, Mrs. George W.
(Blanche Cover), Carrington, N. D 1908
Horning, Emma McPherson, Kans., 1908
Hutchison, Anna M., Easton, Md 1911
Metzger, Minerva Rossville, Ind., 1910
Oberholtzer, I. E Elizabethtown, Pa 1916
Oberholtzer, Mrs. I. E.
(Elizabeth Weybright), . . Trotwood, Ohio 1916
Pollock, Myrtle, Conway, Kans 1917
Rider, Bessie, Elizabethtown, Pa., 1915
Schaeffer, Mary, Lancaster, Pa., 1917
Seese, Norman B., Nokesville, Va., 1917
Seese, Mrs. N. B.
(Anna Bowman), Johnson City, Tenn 1917
Senger, Nettie Panora, Iowa, 1915
Shock, Laura, Huntington, Ind., 1916
Vaniman, Ernest La Verne, Calif 1913
Vaniman, Mrs. Ernest
(Susie Cordelia Neher), ..La Verne, Calif., 1913
Wampler, E. M., Timberville, Va., 1918
Wampler, Mrs. E. M.
(Vida Eunice Miller) Port Republic, Va 1918
Wampler, Fred, Timberville, Va 1913
Wampler, Mrs. Fred
(Rebecca C. Skeggs) Roanoke, Va. 1913
Missionaries Appointed in 1919
The Becker Bicentennial Conference will long be
remembered for many things. Among the blessings
of the meeting was the large number of missionaries
appointed for the foreign field — more than twice as
many as ever before. To Denmark : Brother and Sis-
ter W. E. Glasmire. To China: Brother and Sister
M. M. Myers, Brother and Sister L. A. Stump, Brother
and Sister O. C. Sollenberger, Brother and Sister D.
L. Horning, and Sisters Lulu Ullom and Valley V. Mil-
THE CHURCH AND MISSIONS 133
ler. To India : Brother and Sister D. L. Forney (re-
turned), Brother and Sister C. G. Shull, Brother and
Sister A. S. B. Miller, Brother and Sister Fred G. Hol-
lenberg, Brother and Sister J. E. Wagoner, Brother
and Sister A. G. Butterbaugh, Brethren B. F. Summer
and Leo Blickenstaff, Sisters Elsie Price, Nettie
Brown, Verna Blickenstaff, Anna H. Brumbaugh,
Elizabeth Kintner, and Sarah G. Replogle.
Denmark and Sweden. The pioneer field of Den-
mark soon became very closely associated with an-
other work started in Sweden in 1885. Christian Hope
returned to America in 1886, leaving the Scandinavian
missions in the care of native brethren. He made
three trips after this to these missions, spending time
and effort to encourage the work and organize it more
efficiently. These mission points were also much
helped by the visits of such members as D. L. Miller
and wife, Galen B. Royer and wife and others.
From 1901 to 1905 Elder A. W. Vaniman and wife
worked among the Swedish churches and also ren-
dered assistance to the Denmark mission. They had
to return home on account of poor health. In 1911 J.
F. Graybill and wife were sent to Sweden, where they
have labored hard and faithfully to build up the work.
They were joined in 1913 by Ida Buckingham. In 1913
A. F. Wine and family were sent to Denmark, but
failing health brought them home in 1917. The mem-
bership in both these countries in 1916 was only 227.
In general the work has not prospered, nor has it be-
come at all self-supporting. Some gfreat difficulties
retard the progress of the work.
The Smyrna Mission began in 1895, with G. J.
Fercken and wife in charge. The work opened with
134 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
bright prospects. A church was organized in January,
1896. The same year an orphanage was started. The
Smyrna mission was given a good support by the
American churches. The orphanage prospered, a sec-
ond congregation was organized and a mission opened
at Philadelphia. In 1898 trouble came. The Turkish
government seemed jealous of its success. Elder
Fercken had to flee the country, having been falsely
accused of misdemeanors. Elder D. L. Miller, who
was then in the Orient, had charge of the mission for
a time. After his departure it continued under native
helpers for some years, but gradually declined and has
been entirely abandoned.
Switzerland and France. In 1899 G. J. Fercken
opened a mission at Lancy, near Geneva, Switzerland.
A church was soon organized and a house of worship
was built. The location proved a poor one and the
mission was moved to Geneva. In the meantime work
was opened at Oyonnax, in France. Adrian Pellet
soon became an associate in the work. G. J. Fercken
made a trip to the homeland, where he served on the
Standing Committee in 1903. After his return he lo-
cated at Montreal, France, about sixty miles from
Geneva. Here he established an orphanage. Pellet
was then working in Geneva. All seemed to be grow-
ing well, but reverses came. Elder Fercken became
fascinated with the doctrines of Swedenborg and se-
cretly left for an island in the Indian Ocean. Evil re-
ports were circulated about Pellet. An investigation
in 1910 failed to prove the charges made. In 1911
Elder Paul Mohler and family were sent to this field.
He soon found out that Pellet was guilty of immor-
ality. The success of the mission under all these ad-
THE CHURCH AND MISSIONS 135
verse circumstances seemed impossible. In August,
1912, the General Mission Board decided to discontinue
the work in Switzerland and France.
Other Fields have received serious consideration by
the General Mission Board. One brother was very-
much interested in opening a mission in Jerusalem and
offered to give a large sum of money to endow it. The
board had even appointed a man to start the work.
Then, on further reflection, the project was abandoned.
Some very good inducements have been made to open
work in South America. Africa and other fields have
been considered. But the great needs of the fields al-
ready opened, both in men and money, have kept the
efforts of the church confined to them. The most re-
cent foreign movement is the advice of the Conference
of 1918, that the board give pastoral care to our Chi-
nese brethren who are located in South China.
Work in the Homeland. The Church of the Breth-
ren, through its General Mission Board, has done a
great deal of good in the United States.
For many years the Chicago mission was kept
prominently before the Brotherhood. It was begun
in 1885 by Elder J. G. Royer. A congregation was
organized in 1889. The same year W. R. Miller was
called to the ministry and served the church for many
years as its pastor. A churchhouse was purchased at
183 Hastings Street. The work has continued until
the present. In 1905 the Hastings Street church was
the first home of the Bethany Bible School. The Gen-
eral Mission Board has given the direction of the work
to the Chicago church, though help is still given in
carrying on the work of the Sunday-school Extension
136 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
In 1893 the board began giving help to the mission
at Washington, D. C. With the help of such workers
as S. H. Myers, Albert Hollinger and others the mem-
bership grew. A lot was purchased and a house of
worship was erected in 1902. It has an excellent loca-
tion, near the heart of the city. The congregation has
grown strong and self-supporting.
The work at Brooklyn has perhaps appealed to the
Brotherhood as much as any other home mission. It
was begun in 1897 by T. T. Myers and Alice J. Boone.
J. E. Ulery and J. K. Miller later, in turn, became pas-
tors. Largely through the efforts of the latter and
the help of the Brotherhood a churchhouse and par-
sonage were dedicated in 1908. The work among the
Italians has been very promising of late. John Caruso
joined the church in 1900 and has since been called to
Since 1884 the board has given much help to local
churches in building meetinghouses, especially where
the membership was not strong. The board has grant-
ed a great deal to District Mission Boards to carry
on the work in their local territory. Just now the
board is giving study to the great unoccupied field of
District Mission Boards have been appointed in all
of the local State Districts. From three to five mem-
bers compose these boards. The amount and charac-
ter of their work depends largely upon the personnel
of the boards and the support given to them by the
District. Some of the boards on frontier Districts
have almost a limitless field before them and with but
little financial support. Formerly the General Board
had but little connection with the District Boards.
THE CHURCH AND MISSIONS 137
Since 1913 there have been efforts to get the work of
the District Boards and that of the General Board
more closely united. These District Boards are get-
ting together more to study their mutual problems.
The work of home missions is receiving more and
more attention. These District Boards have a great
opportunity for reaching neglected fields in the home-
Endowment. One of the best guarantees today of
the permanent success of the mission work of the
church is the large endowment back of it. This fund
began to accumulate shortly after the organization of
the new boards in 1884. By 1888, $30,000 had been
secured. In that year a favorable decision of Confer-
ence gave the membership more confidence in the
work. During the nineties the fund grew rapidly.
Elders Daniel Vaniman and I. D. Parker were very
successful in their appeals to the membership for
funds. By 1900 the funds had reached nearly $500,000.
In 1918 the total funds in the hands of the General
Mission Board had passed the million-dollar mark.
This includes the part invested in the Brethren's Pub-
lishing House. The House, however, as a business,
has made large earnings for the mission cause. The
annuity form of the endowment enables members to
transfer their property to the church, receive a full
income during life, and then be sure that the church
shall receive the benefit after their death. The annu-
ity plan began in 1898. The amount that year paid to
donors was $1,501.76. This form of endowment has
grown steadily for twenty years. In 1918 the amount
paid to annuitants was $35,597.45.
138 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
The Growth of Mission Offerings can be seen both
from the Annual Meeting offerings and from the gen-
eral missionary receipts for the past thirty years :
Missionary Offerings at A. M.
1890 Pertle Springs, Mo. $ 224.30
1891 Hagerstown, Md., 295.11
1892 Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 366.82
1893 Muncie, Indiana, 244.33
1894 Meyersdale, Pa., 260.88
1895 Decatur, 111 366.12
1896 Ottawa, Kans. 302.00
1897 Frederick, Md. 500.74
1898 Burlington Park, 111., 1,400.01
1899 Roanoke, Va 1,609.90
1900 No. Manchester, Ind. 1,868.00
1901 Lincoln, Nebr 1,881.22
1902 Harrisburg, Pa., 1,732.66
1903 Bellefontaine, Ohio, 5,632.04
1904 Carthage, Mo., 5,677.19
1905 Bristol, Tenn 7,750.61
1906 Springfield, 111., 10,142.32
1907 Los Angeles, Calif 8,266.21
1908 Des Moines, Iowa 23,594.76
1909 Harrisonburg, Va 12,716.36
1910 Winona Lake, Ind 16,482.95
1911 St. Joseph, Mo., 13,563.01
1912 York, Pa 16,099.95
1913 Winona Lake, Ind., 20,796.88
1914 Seattle, Wash 21,471.53
1915 Hershey, Pa 23,603.68
1916 Winona Lake, Ind., 25,520.53
1917 Wichita, Kansas 40,306.26
1918 Hershey, Pa. 66,953.62
1919 Winona Lake, Ind. 150,000.00 +
General Missionary Receipts
1887 $ 3,877.29 1898 $31,423.06
1888 4,184.41 1899 32,123.09
1889, 5,587.28 1900 50,978.07
1890, 7,936.32 1901 39,112.74
1891 7,628.09 1902 41,215.52
1892 11,513.14 1903 42,095.89
1893 8,989.17 1904, 52,237.64
1894, 9,878.39 1905 58,004.59
1895, 10,691.78 1906 69,142.17
1896 17,258.91 1907 66,960.89
1897, 20,259.29 1908 67,642.63
THE CHURCH AND MISSIONS 139
1909 $ 87,04979 1913, $ 99,734.09
1910 69,922.67 1914 114,720.82
1911 77,734.87 1915 131,267.99
1912 92,250.46 1916 144,808.90
— From Church of the Brethren Yearbook of 1918, p. 17.
The church has begun in earnest to carry out this
program. The offering at the Becker Bicentennial
Conference at Winona Lake was more than $150,000,
six times as much as at the Conference three years
before. Not only in money, but even more so in con-
secrated lives, did the cause of missions receive new
life. Thirty-two men and women were sent to for-
eign lands. The general feeling everywhere is that
the church will more than meet the goals set for it.
The Forward Movement Campaign plan for the five
years, beginning with January 1, 1919, includes the
following goals, which the General Mission Board
hopes and believes will be reached:
That annually the following shall be accomplished :
1. $250,000 given to missions under the General Mis-
2. Fifteen new missionaries sent to the foreign
3. $200,000 raised for District Missions.
4. One new missionary station under each District
5. Every congregation organized for greatest mis-
Ministerial and Missionary Relief Fund. Since 1904
there has been a yearly income to a fund that gives
support to those who have served the church faithfully
as ministers and missionaries. Two paragraphs from
the plan approved by Conference will give the purpose
of the fund and how it is raised:
140 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
"This fund shall be used for the support of aged
and infirm missionaries and ministers in good stand-
ing in the Church of the Brethren, who may be left
without other means of support. It shall be under
the management of the General Mission Board.
" The fund shall be composed of twenty per cent
of the Gish fund, twenty per cent of the earnings of
the Brethren Publishing House, annually set apart for
mission work, cash donations, income from endow-
ments, either by direct bequest, gift or on the annuity
plan, and by money received from those who enjoy
a full support from the fund." Through this fund the
General Mission Board is able to give help to those
who have faithfully served the church, but who,
through sickness or old age or lack of means are no
longer able to support themselves.
Missionary Education. A few of the early church
papers gave encouragement to articles written in sup-
port of the mission cause. The pages of the Gospel
Messenger were open to all such material. In 1893 the
Brethren's Missionary Visitor appeared. In 1897 the
paper was discontinued and a page in the Gospel Mes-
senger was used for missionary news and articles.
The Missionary Visitor was revived again in 1902 and
has continued to this day. Galen B. Royer and J. H.
B. Williams have been the editors. It has been a
strong factor in creating sentiment for missions. And
now, that the missionary activities have become fore-
most in the church, the monthly visitor has come to be
welcomed in almost every Brethren home.
Largely through the efforts of our pioneer mission-
ary, Wilbur B. Stover, the Missionary Reading Circle
was formed. He was the president of the Circle
THE CHURCH AND MISSIONS 141
throughout its existence. A little paper, the Helping
Hand, published by James M. Neff of Covington, Ohio,
added interest to the movement. In 1899 a committee
of three, Elizabeth D. Rosenberger, Otho Winger and
John R. Snyder, was appointed by the General Board
to direct the work. A course of reading was outlined
and books were furnished at cost. A small member-
ship fee was charged. About two thousand people
joined the study. The organized Circle ceased in 1906.
This mission study movement has been revived un-
der immediate supervision of the secretary of the
board. In 1914 a one-year course was offered. It
comprised the study, in class or privately, of Christian
Heroism in Heathen Lands, by Galen B. Royer, and
reading either individually or in class six seal-course
books. When the first book is read a certificate is
granted. As the other books are read, seals are given,
to be attached to the certificate. So many were much
benefited in reading the course that a second year's
reading has been provided.
Another factor in missionary education has been the
traveling secretaries, who go from church to church,
giving missionary talks, organizing mission study
classes, and presenting the great needs of the mission
Tract Distribution since 1894 has been under the di-
rection of the General Mission Board. Much larger
use was made of these tracts formerly than now. Then
special workers were employed to distribute tracts
from house to house. Sunday-schools and even con-
gregations had their beginnings in this way. The first
tracts were largely doctrinal in character. They
helped to place the principles and practices of the
142 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
church before the people. Of late years there has
been less interest in the writing of tracts. Special
need has been felt for more tracts of an evangelistic
nature and for the culture of spiritual life and power.
The Annual Meeting has appointed a Tract Examin-
ing Committee of five members. It is the work of
this committee to examine all tracts, pass upon their
worth and recommend or disapprove of their publica-
tion. The printing and distribution of the tracts is in
the hands of the General Mission Board, through its
The members of the Book and Tract Committee
were the following: S. D. Royer, S. W. Hoover, A.
Minnich, B. F. Miller, J. Hepner, S. Bock, Isaac
Frantz, D. S. Filbrun, W. W. Barnhart.
The members of the Tract Examining Committee
have been as follows : Enoch Eby, R. H. Miller, Landon
West, B. F. Moomaw, S. F. Sanger, S. S. Mohler, Jacob
Rife, I. D. Parker, L. W. Teeter, Daniel Hays, D. L.
Miller, D. S. Filbrun, J. H. Moore, H. C. Early, I. J.
Rosenberger, T. C. Denton, J. E. Mohler, A. C. Wieand,
A. G. Crosswhite, Paul Mohler, D. N. Eller, J. W. Lear,
E. B. Hoff, T. T. Myers, Edgar Rothrock, J. P. Dickey,
J. M. Moore.
The General Mission Board. Since the organization
of the General Mission Board in 1880, twenty-eight
persons have served as members. There have been
few changes made in its officers.
Enoch Eby 1880-1899
D. L. Miller 1899-1914
H. C. Early, 1914-present
THE CHURCH AND MISSIONS 143
S. F. Bosserman 1880-1884
D. L. Miller 1884-1889
Galen B. Royer 1889-1918
J. H. B. Williams 1918-present
Galen B. Royer, 1888-1889
J. H. B. Williams, 1910-1918
James Quinter, 1880-1884
D. L. Miller 1884-1899
Galen B. Royer 1899-1918
J. H. B. Williams, 1918-present
Member* of the Board
Enoch Eby 1880-1885, 1893-1899
S. F. Bosserman, 1880-1884
James Quinter 1880-1884
Joseph Leedy 1880-1884
D. E. Brubaker 1880-1884
D. L. Miller 1884-1910
D. L. Miller, Life Advisory Member 1910-present
D. Vaniman, 1884-1893
S. Riddlesberger 1884-1892
C. P. Rowland, 1884-1885
James R. Gish, 1885-1887
E. S. Young 1885-1888
J. W. Price 1887-1893
C. H. Hawbaker 1888-1891
J. L. Miller 1891-1893
C. W. Lahman 1893
S. R. Zug, 1893-1898
S. F. Sanger 1893-1901, 1903-1906
S. W. Hoover, 1893-1895
Isaac Frantz 1895-1897
L. W. Teeter, 1897-1903, 1906-1912
A. B. Barnhart, 1898-1906
John Zuck, 1899-1908
H. C. Early 1901-present
144 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
C. D. Bonsack, 1906-1916, 1917-present
J. J. Yoder, 1908-present
Galen B. Royer, 1910-1917
Otho Winger, 1912-present
A. P. Blough, 1916-present
The Secretary of the Mission Board has always been
in closest touch with the mission work. He is the
executive officer through which the board carries out
its plans. To him belongs much of the responsibility
as well as much of the credit for the success of the
work. Since 1884 three men have filled this important
position: D. L. Miller, Galen B. Royer and J. H. B.
Williams. The account of Elder Miller's important
service is given in a biographical sketch. Elder Wil-
liams, though connected with the work of the board
for ten years, has just entered upon his work as sec-
retary. For nearly thirty years this important office
was filled by one man. A history of our mission work
would be incomplete without a sketch of his life.
Galen B. Royer was the only son of Elder J. G. Roy-
er. He was born in 1862. He spent his early life with
his parents in Ohio and Indiana. He had an excellent
teacher in his father, who was engaged in public
school work during these years. After teaching for
two years Galen entered Juniata College, where he
completed the Normal English course in 1883. For
several years he was associated with his father in the
work at Mt. Morris College.
In 1889 he became assistant to D. L. Miller, secre-
tary of the General Mission Board. The following
year he became the secretary and continued as such
until September 1, 1918. During this time, and large-
ly due to his efficient service, the work of the board
THE CHURCH AND MISSIONS US
grew from a small business to one of large propor-
tions. The history of this growth is closely inter-
woven with his history. He visited every part of the
Brotherhood, giving missionary addresses, inspiring
the membership to larger support of the mission cause,
and helping young people to decide for a life of definite
Christian service. Three times he was sent by the
board to visit the missions in foreign fields. For sev-
en years he was a member of the board.
He united with the church at the age of eleven. He
was called to the ministry in 1889 and ordained in
1907. For five years he was presiding elder of the
Elgin congregation. He served on the Standing Com-
mittee in 1910, and as member of other important
committees. He has been quite active with his pen.
As editor of the Missionary Visitor for many years he
gave much help to the cause of missions. His book on
Christian Heroism in Foreign Lands is a standard
text in mission study. His Thirty-three Years of Mis-
sions is the most complete history of the Brethren's
missions yet published. He is also the author of
twelve Bible Biographies for the Young, and with D. L.
Miller, joint author of Some Who Led.
In 1885 he was married to Anna Miller, sister to
Elder D. L. Miller. They are the parents of two sons
and four daughters. Their daughter, Kathren, became
the wife of Quincy Holsopple, and with him spent
several years as missionary to India. Since closing
his connection with the board, Elder Eloyer has be-
come Professor of Missions in Juniata College.
146 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
References for Further Study
The most complete and available book on the history of the
Brethren's Missions is Galen B. Royer's Thirty-three Years of
Missions. This, together with the volumes of the Missionary
Visitor, will furnish a library for much additional reading. From
these the student will be interested in further reading on such
subjects as the following:
1. Biographies of the missionaries.
2. Biographies of members of the Mission Board.
3. The Book and Tract Work.
4. Our mission fields in foreign lands.
5. Missions in different States.
6. Missions in our large cities.
In colonial days the Brethren were leaders in print-
ing both books and periodicals. The Sower press at
Germantown had no superior in the colonies for both
quantity and quality of the work done. But at the
close of this period a great misfortune befell the en-
terprise and its veteran publisher, Elder Christopher
Sower. Though the work was continued after an in-
terval, by another, yet it could not regain its former
activity or prestige. Then, too, the membership be-
came scattered in the westward march of the pioneers,
and the thought and energy of these frontier Brethren
were so taken up with the hardships of their new life
that they had but little time to read literature. There
was but small demand for any church publication. Of
the definite history of the church during this period
we know but little.
Church Periodicals. April 1, 1851, the first number
of a new paper called the Monthly Gospel Visitor was
sent out from Poland, Ohio. It had been printed on
a spring-house loft and edited by Elder Henry Kurtz.
Elder Kurtz was a German scholar of much literary
ability. He had served for years as a Lutheran preach-
er, but united with the Brethren in 1828. For many
years he had felt the need of a church paper; but as
many of his brethren were suspicious of all innova-
tions, the paper was not brought forth until the above
date. The Annual Meeting considered the new raove-
148 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
ment a private enterprise and advised forbearance on
the part of those who could not see the need of the
The Gospel Visitor steadily grew in circulation and
influence. It did not contain much news, but every
month it brought gospel messages of cheer and spir-
itual food to homes that greatly needed it. In 1856
Elder James Quinter became the associate editor, and
eight years later, when Elder Kurtz retired from ac-
tive duties, Elder Quinter became editor. The paper
continued its monthly visits until January 1, 1874,
when it was consolidated with another paper that had
been growing up in the meantime.
During the early years of the Gospel Visitor, H. R.
Holsinger was an assistant in the office. His observa-
tions caused him to feel the need of a weekly religious
paper among the Brethren. The proprietors of the
Visitor did not see fit to make the change. H. R. Hol-
singer taught school several years and edited a secular
newspaper in 1863. The following year he sent forth
specimen copies of a new weekly religious paper, the
Christian Family Companion. The policy of the paper
was a broad one and much trouble arose because of
the freedom with which individual members were al-
lowed to express themselves through its columns. The
paper differed from the Gospel Visitor, in that it solic-
ited much church news. This made it popular with
many people. It continued under its original title,
edited by H. R. Holsinger, until June 1, 1874, when it
was consolidated with the Gospel Visitor, the new
publication retaining both of the names of the old pa-
CHURCH PUBLICATIONS 149
The editors of the Christian Family Companion and
Gospel Visitor were James Quinter and J. W. Beer,
who stated on the title page that the paper was pub-
lished by permission of the " Church of the Brethren."
The paper was published at Dale City, later known as
Meyersdale, Pa. The name of the consolidated paper
was soon found to be too long to be convenient, and
on January 1, 1876, the name Primitive Christian was
given to it.
The Primitive Christian was soon joined by another
paper known as the Pilgrim. The Pilgrim had been
making weekly visits since 1870. It had been edited and
published by H. B. and J. B. Brumbaugh at James Creek,
Pa. Its policy, though aggressive, was much milder than
that of the Christian Family Companion. It had gained a
good circulation, but since the Primitive Christian had
about the same policy and purpose, the two papers were
united October 24, 1876. It was published by Quinter
and Brumbaugh Bros, at Huntingdon, Pa. It continued
under this management until June, 1883, when it was con-
solidated with the Brethren at Work, the new paper be-
ing given the now familiar name of Gospel Messenger.
The Brethren at Work had its beginning in January,
1876, at Germantown, Pa., with J. T. Myers and L. A.
Plate as editors of a small paper known as the Brethren's
Messenger. In August of the same year it was moved to
Lanark, 111., and the name changed to Brethren at Work,
with J. H. Moore, J. T. Myers, and M. M. Eshelman
editors. Many changes were made in the editorial staff
before consolidation. Its course was conservative and it
held much the same position in the West that the Primi-
tive Christian held in the East.
150 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
The Gospel Messenger has been making its weekly
visits since June, 1883. For years the paper was pub-
lished at Mt. Morris, 111., and Huntingdon, Pa. At first,
Elder James Quinter was editor-in-chief, H. B. Brum-
baugh, Eastern editor, J. H. Moore, office editor, and
Joseph Amick, business manager. D. L. Miller soon took
up the work as office editor and continued in this position
until he succeeded as editor Elder James Quinter, who
died in 1888. Elder Miller continues as editor-in-chief to
the present. In 1891 Elder J. H. Moore became office
editor and continued as such until October 1, 1915, when
he was succeeded by Elder Edward Frantz.
Biographies of our pioneer editors are given elsewhere
in this volume. It is fitting that a few words be said here
concerning one of the most faithful workers for the
church, L. A. Plate. He has been connected with the
publishing interests of the church since 1875. He has
helped to edit the Gospel Messenger ever since its begin-
ning, either as proofreader or as assistant editor. He is
still active and efficient after more than forty years of
The Vindicator began in 1870, edited by Elder Samuel
Kinsey of Dayton, Ohio. It was an eight-page monthly
and represented reactionary sentiments of the church.
After the division in 1881 the Vindicator became the ac-
cepted organ of the Old Order Brethren and continues to
be so today.
The Progressive element in the church was likewise
well represented in periodicals. Before 1874 the Chris-
tian Family Companion had represented these views. In
1878 the Progressive Christian was started by J. W. Beer
and H. R. Holsinger at Berlin, Pa. Because of lack of
support it was discontinued for a while. Later it revived
CHURCH PUBLICATIONS 151
and continued under the above name until after the divi-
sion of 1882, when it became the organ, of the Progres-
sive Brethren and the name was changed to the Brethren
Evangelist. The Gospel Preacher also united to form
this new paper. The Gospel Preacher had at first been
published by the trustees of Ashland College, having at
one time the well-known R. H. Miller as editor. But
after the college voted to go with the Progressive Breth-
ren, the Gospel Preacher also went that way.
There were other papers with various purposes. Der
Bruderbote was published many years for the benefit of
the German Brethren. The Brethren's Advocate was
published for a while at Waynesboro, by D. H. Fahrney.
The Deacon, published two years at Lewisburg, Pa., was
a radical monthly that aimed to curb the power of aspir-
ing elders. The Landmark was published at Warrens-
burg, Mo., in 1899. It, too, had its special objects which
the promoters thought were not met in the Gospel Mes-
senger. An agreement was reached by which it was dis-
continued after six months' existence.
During these years the needs of the young people and
children were not neglected. The Pious Youth, a six-
teen-page weekly, was published in 1870 by H. R. Hol-
singer in connection with the Christian Family Com-
panion. The Golden Dawn, a thirty-two page monthly,
was published over two years by the Brumbaugh Bros.
Children at Work and the Youths' Advance were two
juvenile papers edited by J. H. Moore at Lanark, 111. In
1879 Children at Work was combined with Our Sunday
School, which had first been published by S. Z. Sharp at
Ashland. Our Sunday School was later combined with
the Young Disciple. The Young Disciple began in 1876.
For many years it was a welcome visitor to Brethren
152 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
homes where there were children. It was followed by
Our Boys and Girls, November 25, 1905. At the same
time a new paper, since known as Our Young People,
began. The Inglenook was a literary weekly published
for fifteen years from 1898 to 1913. It began as the
Pilot, but took on the former name at the suggestion of
Howard Miller, who became editor in 1900. Along with
these publications there has been a great interest in recent
years in Sunday-school literature.
The Publishing House. Not until the Gospel Mes-
senger began in June, 1883, was there a central publishing
house for the Church of the Brethren. Before this the
members patronized the paper that most pleased them.
Sometimes to a single home there would come a number
of papers. But for more than a generation the Gospel
Messenger has been practically the only church paper
among the Brethren. This was first published at Mt.
Morris, 111. In a frame building that stood near the edge
of the campus of Mt. Morris college, the literature for
the Brethren was published for many years. From 1883
to 1896 the House was owned and controlled by private
individuals. But as such they did a great service for the
church in placing this business on a sound financial basis.
The Annual Conference of 1893 recommended that as
soon as possible the church should own her own publish-
ing interests. Through the generosity of the stockhold-
ers, and the efforts of Elder Daniel Vaniman, sufficient
money was subscribed to purchase all of the private
stock, amounting to fifty thousand dollars, and to deed the
entire publishing interests to the church. The transfer
was made March 31, 1897. To give the House better
mail and freight conveniences, a new location was sought
closer to Chicago. Elgin was finally selected. A new
CHURCH PUBLICATIONS 153
brick building was erected in 1899. Since then the cen-
ter of all the publishing interests of the church has been
the Brethren Publishing House, Elgin, 111.
The growth of the business at Elgin has been rapid.
Additional building was done at different times, until
1906 saw the present large four-story building. One hun-
dred and fifty thousand dollars has been invested in the
House, including a large amount put in up-to-date ma-
Much credit for the financial success of the publishing
interests is due to the business management of the House.
For nearly twenty years, both while yet a private busi-
ness and then as the property of the church, Elder Joseph
Amick successfully directed the financial and business
interests. Advancing years suggested that he give the
work over to another. Elder T. F. Imler was in charge
for one year. Since January 1, 1904, R. E. Arnold has
been the business manager. Under his direction the
printing interests have grown and the job work has in-
creased to large proportions. A special investigating
committee, appointed by Annual Meeting in 1918, pro-
nounced the business on a sound financial basis.
The following extract from an article in the Gospel
Messenger, September 28, 1918, by Elder H. C. Early,
president of the board of directors of the Brethren Pub-
lishing House, will show something of the growth of the
business and its worth today.
The House has made a good record for itself. It has en-
joyed liberal prosperity, especially since 1900. Then its as-
sets were valued at $54,046.92; now at $317,649.30, including
a reserve fund of $100,583.35, which has been built up of its
earnings. In other words, besides the amount paid out to
missions, the assets of the House have been increased
$267,602.38 in the last eighteen years, which is a yearly in-
154 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
crease of $14,866 on the average. Beginning with the little
plant, valued at $50,000, it has been built up into a splendid
institution, worth $317,649.30, since the church took it over,
twenty-one years ago. The church may justly have a sense
of pride in its success.
Besides the increased assets of the House, to the extent
of $267,602.38, built up of the earnings within the last
eighteen years, $126,803.84 has been paid over for mission and
church work since the House was taken over by the church,
which shows the Brethren Publishing House to be among
the church's most valuable holdings.
Gish Publishing Fund. In 1897, Barbara Gish,
widow of Elder James R. Gish, turned over all her
property to the General Mission Board. The value of
this estate was nearly $60,000. One-fifth of the annual
income of this estate was to be used in aiding needy
ministers and missionaries of the Church of the Brethren.
Four-fifths of this income was to be used to secure books,
at cost or at greatly-reduced prices, for ministers of the
Church of the Brethren. This fund was to be adminis-
tered by the General Mission Board. The selection and
securing of books were to be done by a committee ap-
pointed by the General Mission Board. The first books
were distributed in 1899. In twenty years there have
been more than eighty thousand copies of sixty different
books distributed under the provisions of this fund. It
has done much good in creating an interest in our minis-
try for good reading and in helping them secure good
books for their libraries.
Brethren Authors. The following list of authors
and their books is not complete, but gives most of the
books that have had much circulation. Nearly all of the
books have been published by the Brethren Publishing
House or handled by them :
CHURCH PUBLICATIONS 155
Arnold, C. E., A. M.
Chart of Christ's Journeying*.
Baker, N. R.
Constancy and other Poems.
Beer, J. W.
The Lord's Supper, 1874.
Beery, Adaline Hohf
Poems of a Decade.
Blough, J. E.
History of Western Pennsylvania, 1916.
Brumbaugh, H. B.
Church Manual, 1893; Onesimus, 1907.
Brumbaugh, M. G, A. M., Ph. D.
Lectures on Ruth, 1897; History of the Brethren, 1899; The
Making of a Teacher, 1905.
Culler, D. D., A. M., Ph. D.
Problems of Pulpit and Platform, 1907.
Eshelman, M. M.
True Vital Piety; Two Sticks, 1887; Life of Uncle John Mer-
ger, 1898; Open Way Into the Book of Revelation, 1915.
Falkenstein, G. N.
History of the German Baptist Brethren, 1901.
Flory, J. S.
Mind Mysteries, 1897; Echoes from the Wild Frontier.
Flory, John S., A. M., Ph. D.
Literary Activity of the Brethren in the Eighteenth Century,
Fitzwater, P. B., D. D.
The Church and Modern Problems.
War and Peace, 1910.
Gibson, D. B.
The Lord's Supper, 1903.
Olive Branch of Peace (with S. F. Sanger) ; Christianity at
the Fountain, 1916.
Heckman,, S. B., A. M., Ph. D.
Religious Poetry of Alexander Mack, 1912.
156 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Hoff, E. B.
Message of the Book of Revelation, 1919.
Milly and Mei Kwei.
The Pious Companion; Forward and Backward Mode of Bap-
tism; Parable of the Supper.
Diary and Letters. (Edited by Benjamin Funk.)
Kurtz, D. W., A. M., D. D.
Nineteen Centuries of the Christian Church, 1914; Outlines of
Fundamental Doctrines of Faith, 1912.
The Great Redemption, 1898.
McCann, S. N, B. D.
The Beatitudes; The Lord Our Righteousness.
Miller, Mrs. D. L.
Letters to the Young, 1894.
Miller, D. L., LL. D.
Europe and Bible Lands, 1884; Wanderings in Bible Lands,
1893;77ie Seven Churches of Asia, 1894; Eternal Verities, 1898;
Girdling the Globe, 1902; The Other Half of the Globe, 1906;
Some Who Led (with Galen B. Royer), 1912.
The Record of the Faithful, 1882.
Miller, R. H.
The Doctrine of the Brethren Defended, 1876; The Miller and
Sommer Debate, 1889.
Moherman, T. S., D. D. (with A. W. Harrold).
History of the Church of the Brethren, Northeastern Ohio,
Moomaw, B. F.
Moomaw and Jackson Debate, 1867; The Divinity of Jesus
Moore, J. H.
Our Saturday Night, 1912 ; Neiv Testament Doctrines, 1914.
CHURCH PUBLICATIONS 157
Primitive Christianity, 1833; Nead's Theology, 1850; Wisdom
and Power of God, 1866.
Neff, James M.
Writings (edited by his wife) ; How to Study Your Bible.
Among the Giants, 1894.
Bubbles and Other Stories.
Trine Immersion, 1886; Apostolic Baptism; Quinter and Sny-
der Debate, 1868; Quinter and McConnell Debate, 1867; Sermons
(edited by Mary N. Quinter), 1891.
Rarick, Carl W.
Bethel Note Book Series.
Rarick, Ralph G.
History of Mississinewa Church, 1917.
Rosenberger, Elizabeth D.
The Boy Who Would Be King; The Scarlet Line; Told at
Rosenberger, I. J.
Bible Readings, 1907; Holy Spirit, 1916.
Royer, Galen B.
Bible Biographies (12 vols.) ; Thirty-Three Years of Missions,
1913; Christian Heroism, 1914; Some Who Led (with D. L. Mil-
J. G. Royer, A. M.
The Sick, the Dying, the Dead, 1908.
Sherrick, M. M., A. M., Litt. D.
Topical Sermon Notes; Wintergreen.
Charlie Newcomer; India, A Problem; Missions and the
Teeter, L. W.
New Testament Commentary, 1894.
Wayland, J. W., Ph. D.
Paul, the Herald of the Cross; The Twelve Apostles, 1907.
Close Communion; Life of Samuel Weir.
158 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Winger, Otho, A. M., LL. D.
Life of Elder R. H. Miller, 1909; History of the Brethren in
Indiana, 1917; History and Doctrines of the Church of the
Yoder, C. F, A. B., B. D.
God's Means of Grace.
Young, E. S., D. D. .
Life of Christ, 1898; Acts of the Apostles, 1915; Bible Normal
Series (four volumes).
Zigler, D. H.
History of the Brethren in Virginia, 1908.
Zollers, George D.
Thrilling Incidents on Sea and Land; Poetical Musings on
Sea and Land.
References and Readings
Publications of the Church, H. B. Brumbaugh, in Tzvo Cen-
Thirty-Three Years of Missions, pp. 212-222.
Address of D. L. Miller, Harrisburg Conference, 1909.
Addresses of R. E. Arnold, Conferences 1909 and 1918.
The Church and Education
The Seventeenth Century. In former chapters we
have seen that the founders of the Church of the Breth-
ren were intelligent men, some of them college-trained.
They were strong preachers and leaders. They brought
from Europe a great love for learning. No colonial press
was more productive of works of learning than that of
the Sowers at Germantown. Christopher Sower, Jr., who
had been educated under good private teachers, became
the leading person in organizing and directing the Ger-
mantown Academy. A select school was supported by
the Brethren at Germantown. Sister Sarah Douglas
conducted this school in the parsonage. The course of
study not only included the rudiments of knowledge, but
also some of the industrial arts.
During the First Half of the Nineteenth Century
secondary and higher education did not meet with much
favor in the Church of the Brethren. The misfortune
of some of the church leaders during the Revolution, the
failure of the great printing business conducted by the
Brethren, and the spread of the church far into the fron-
tier wilderness, all had influence, not only to cause the
Brethren to lose interest in, but even to arouse positive
antagonism to, higher education. The question as to the
propriety of Brethren educating their children in a col-
lege was before the Annual Meeting of 1831 and was
discouraged. In 1832 and 1852 similar queries pertaining
160 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
to attending, establishing or teaching in high schools were
answered also by disapprovals.
The sentiment for a higher education than that of the
common school became too great to be resisted. A num-
ber of the leading Brethren had been teaching school and
saw the advantage of more advanced training. Among
the schoolteachers before 1860 were Henry Kurtz, James
Quinter, Peter Nead, Isaac Price, Jacob Miller, John
Wise, Enoch Eby, Abram Cassel, P. R. Wrightsman,
R. H. Miller, O. W. Miller, Daniel Hays, J. G. Royer,
S. Z. Sharp.
Private Schools. With the renaissance of the pub-
lishing interests of the church in 1851, the soil began
to be prepared for an educational institution among the
Brethren. Henry Kurtz and James Quinter, editors of
the Gospel Visitor, both favored a school. In 1857 they
moved the Visitor to Columbiana, Ohio. Here they
planned to start a school. This was the occasion of a
query going to the Annual Meeting of 1858. This query
with its answer is given because it shows the agitation
that was going on in some earnest minds. It shows, too,
that Conference was no longer so antagonistic :
" Art. 51, 1858. We desire to know whether the Lord
has commanded us to have a school, besides our common
schools, such as the one in the Gospel Visitor. If we are,
ought we not to have it soon? And if it is not com-
manded of the Lord, ought we to have one? And is it
right to contend for or against such an institution pub-
licly through the press, since our different views may be-
come a stumbling block before the world? And if it is
once decided, ought we not to keep forever silent about
it? Answer: Concerning the school proposed in the
Gospel Visitor we think we have no right to interfere
THE CHURCH AND EDUCATION 161
with an individual enterprise so long as there is no de-
parture from Gospel principles."
Brethren Kurtz and Quinter later decided that Colum-
biana was not a desirable place for a school, and looked
around for a better location. This was thought to be
found at New Vienna, fifty-five miles east of Cincinnati,
Ohio, where a brick building, that had been erected for
an academy, was purchased by the Brethren. Here
James Quinter opened a school October 14, 1861. He
was assisted by O. W. Miller and four women teachers.
The school continued for nearly three years, when it was
closed on account of conditions resulting from the Civil
But earlier, by six months, than the New Vienna
school, was that of Kishacoquillas Seminary, which was
opened April 1, 1861. This seminary, located twelve
miles southeast of Huntingdon, Pa., was purchased from
the Presbyterians by Prof. S. Z. Sharp. Though it started
just as the Civil War broke out, yet it grew and pros-
pered for some years, when it was sold by Professor
Sharp to others. During these years a high standard of
work was maintained. Many of the Brethren's children
from Middle Pennsylvania were in attendance.
Bourbon College. The desire for higher learning
had stirred up the Brethren in Indiana. February 10,
1870, there was an educational meeting held at Andrews,
Ind., where a number of the Brethren met to consider the
question. They were much in favor of such a school and
decided to bring the question to Annual Meeting.
In the meantime an important movement was on foot
in Northern Indiana. " A proposition from the citizens
of Bourbon to donate to the church the college grounds
and buildings, located at Bourbon for college purposes,
162 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
if the church would establish a first-class institution of
learning, and continue it in Bourbon, was accepted by
Northern Indiana District Meeting in May, 1870, by al-
most unanimous vote of the delegates present, according
to the terms of the proposition. The committee for the
church elected, discharged their duties as their instruction
warranted, and pledged the churches they were acting
for the following obligation, to establish and continue a
This account by K. Heckman, secretary of the church
committee, is interesting, from the fact that it shows that
Bourbon was established by Northern Indiana District
Meeting, and not merely by individuals, as previous
schools had been. This was surely an advanced step for
a State District to make. Most of our schools now are
owned and controlled by State Districts. Northern Indi-
ana was a generation ahead of others in taking up the
duty of Christian education.
The new school began its work in the fall of 1870.
O. W. Miller, formerly of the New Vienna school, was
principal. The attendance was very encouraging. But
there were serious difficulties from the first. To the
Brethren, it was a new experience to run a college. There
were few men able to do it. Sentiment in the church in
general was against it. Some who had favored it were
frightened when financial needs arose. Trouble between
trustees and directors caused weakness within. The town
people of Bourbon felt that the college had failed to come
up to the standard set for it, and demanded the return of
the property. After three years the college closed its
doors. A few men lost heavily in shouldering the bur-
dens, but to them belongs great credit for their bold for-
ward movement. These men were the trustees: Jacob
THE CHURCH AND EDUCATION 163
Shively, Paul Kurtz, Keylon Heckman and Jacob Ber-
key. It is interesting to note that this Paul Kurtz was a
son of Elder Henry Kurtz, who revived the publishing
interests of the church.
Other Private Schools. The Plum Creek Normal,
near Elderton, Pa., was conducted four years, 1874-1878,
by Elder Lewis Kimmel and Howard Miller.
Spring Creek Normal, Va., was opened in 1882 by
Professor D. C. Flory. After two years the school was
moved to Bridgewater and developed into the present
Mountain Normal School, at Hylton, Va., was con-
ducted four years, 1882-1886, until its founder, J. B.
Wrightsman, united his work with the Bridgewater
Burnetts Creek Normal was conducted at Burnetts
Creek, Ind., by Professor J. G. Royer in the early seven-
ties, somewhat in connection with his work as principal
of the public school.
Smithville College, at Smithville, Ohio, was an effort
with some promise of success. It began in 1899 with
Quincy Leckrone, president. Later D. D. Culler was
president for awhile. The school lasted about three
It is likely that there have been a number of other pri-
vate schools conducted by Brethren. Enough have been
noticed to indicate the efforts in this direction.
Some Former Colleges of note and influence were
Fruitdale and Citronelle, Ala., Plattsburg, Mo., Canton,
Ohio, and the Berean Bible School at Los Angeles, Calif.
Plattsburg College began in September, 1897. A col-
lege building was bought by some brethren and deeded
to the State Districts of Missouri and adjoining State
164 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Districts. The first year was a successful beginning, with
Prof. S. Z. Sharp, president. A new dormitory was
erected. Then opposition against the school became quite
strong and it was closed.
Canton Bible Institute was organized in 1904 with
Professor E. S. Young, president, assisted by Professor
T. S. Moherman and others. The school had a good loca-
tion. Many Northeastern Ohio Brethren were encour-
aged, believing that the District would gain something to
compensate what they had lost in Ashland College. A
good building was erected and the outlook was bright.
Difficulties soon arose and Professor Young closed the
school before the end of the third year. This was the
third failure to establish a college in Northeastern Ohio.
The next movement by the District was in 1916, when it
joined in the ownership and control of Manchester Col-
Fruitdale and Citronelle schools were founded by a
stock company that was interested in colonizing the
South and exerting a good moral and religious influence.
Those chiefly interested in this were James M. Neff,
N. R. Baker, P. H. Beery and L. M. Neher. Fruitdale
Seminary was opened in 1896. Some high school work
was done here, but much of the course of study was of
lower grade. Citronelle school, twenty-two miles south
of Fruitdale, was opened in 1897. The work here was
much the same as at Fruitdale, with a business course
added. The colonization plans were not a success, and
both schools were soon abandoned.
Berean Bible School, in East Los Angeles, was con-
ducted for several years by some brethren who were
especially interested in the Chinese Mission of that city.
S. G. Lehmer was the president of the trustee board and
THE CHURCH AND EDUCATION 165
the chief promoter. The school was located in a sub-
stantial brick building. Its work attracted considerable
attention, and at one time application was made for the
recognition of the Brotherhood. The cost of maintenance
and its nearness to Lordsburg are perhaps two reasons
why it closed.
Ashland College. The sentiment for a school in
Northeastern Ohio was largely the result of the efforts
of Asa Packer. He first talked about Louisville as the
home of the school, but later Ashland seemed to be the
most favorable place. The surrounding churches became
much interested and sent for Professor S. Z. Sharp of
Maryville College, Tenn. At an enthusiastic meeting of
Ashland's citizens, Professor Sharp presented plans for
the school. Professor J. E. Stubbs, a local Methodist
preacher, gave much encouragement to the work. The
town pledged $10,000; Brethren contributed freely. The
school was chartered in June, 1878. A college building,
costing $40,000, and a dormitory, costing $15,000, were
The school opened in September, 1878, with S. Z.
Sharp, president, and J. E. Stubbs, vice-president. The
first year was a pronounced success. During the second
year Professor Sharp resigned. Professor Stubbs, from
this on, was the real director of the school. He gave
faithful service to the Brethren, though he was a mem-
ber of another church. In the summer of 1880 the trus-
tees elected R. H. Miller of Ladoga, Ind., as president.
He did little work within the school, but: spent most of
his time in the field. However, with his large influence
among the Brethren he won the confidence of many. He
was unanimously reelected in 1881 for another year.
166 HISTORY AND DOCTRJNES
But just at this time the Progressive movement was
growing. Gradually the trustees took a stand on this
side until there was a majority. R. H. Miller resigned
December 13, 1881. The few trustees remaining loyal to
the church also resigned, but five of them had to pay
$10,000 of an indebtedness, which ordinarily should have
been borne by the school. With the organization of the
Progressive Brethren Church in 1882, Ashland College
passed into their hands and continues to be their church
Juniata College. The founding of Juniata College
was a beginning of permanent and successful efforts for
establishing schools among the Brethren.
The original promoters of the Huntingdon Normal
School, as the institution was first called, were Dr. A. B.
Brumbaugh, H. B. Brumbaugh, J. B. Brumbaugh and
J. M. Zuck. Professor J. M. Zuck, as principal, opened
the school on April 17, 1876, in a small room on the
second floor of the building in which the Pilgrim was
published. The next year Professor J. H. Brumbaugh
was added to the faculty and a large building secured.
In 1879 a large and commodious building known as
Founders' Hall was erected. But the same year the
school suffered a great loss in the death of Professor
Zuck. The school, however, under the direction of Elder
James Quinter, president, and J. H. Brumbaugh, princi-
pal, continued to grow. The Ladies' Hall was built in
1890, Students' Hall in 1895, Oneida Hall in 1898, the
Gymnasium in 1901, Library in 1907, the Stone Church
in 1910 and the Science Hall in 1915. In addition to the
buildings, the college has built up a large endowment. A
strong faculty is maintained and a good patronage is en-
joyed. The school is held in trust by sixteen trustees.
THE CHURCH AND EDUCATION 167
Much credit for the financial success has been due to the
untiring efforts of J. B. Brumbaugh and J. Allan Myers
in raising funds for buildings and endowment.
The presidents of Juniata have been as follows : J. M.
Zuck, 1876-1879; James Quinter, 1879-1888; H. B.
Brumbaugh, 1888-1894; M. G. Brumbaugh, 1894-1911;
I. Harvey Brumbaugh, 191 1-.
Mt. Morris College began as a Methodist school,
known as Rock River Seminary. It was founded in
1839. " Old Sandstone," a large stone building, was
erected in 1850. It was purchased by the Brethren in
1878. Those most interested were M, S. Newcomer,
J. H. Moore, M. M. Eshelman, S. C. Price, John Price,
Daniel Wingert and D. L. Miller. The school opened
August 20, 1879, with J. W. Stein president. The name
was changed to Mt. Morris College. D. L. Miller be-
came secretary and business manager. The attendance
was good the first year and made a good increase the
During the second year the college experienced a sen-
sational event in the sudden departure of President J. W.
Stein for Europe. D. L. Miller now filled the office of
president for three years, but while he was absent on a
trip to Europe, Professor S. Z. Sharp directed the work.
In 1884 the trustees secured a new charter, increased the
capital stock to $30,000, and elected Professor J. G.
Royer of Monticello, Ind., president. From that time the
growth of the college was steady. Improvements were
made from time to time. A large college and chapel
building was erected in 1891. Old Sandstone was used
both as a Men's Dormitory and for some classroom work.
A Ladies' Home and a Gymnasium were built. In 1912
Old Sandstone burned. Its walls, however, were unin-
168 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
jured. With these a new Sandstone was at once erected,
modern in every way, a beautiful piece of architecture,
and well equipped to be used as library, laboratories and
other purposes. At the same time a Men's Home was
erected. In 1917 a successful campaign raised the neces-
sary funds to standardize the college. Mt. Morris has
had a large patronage and through her teachers and stu-
dents has exerted a wide influence in the Brotherhood.
The presidents of the college have been as follows :
J. W. Stein, 1879-1881; D. L. Miller, 1881-1884; J. G.
Royer, 1884-1904; J. E. Miller, 1904-1915; J. S. Noff-
singer, 1915-1918; L. S. Shively, 1918-.
Bridgewater College had its beginning in the Spring
Creek Normal, 1880. In 1882 the school was moved
to Bridgewater, and a charter was secured from the State
under the name of Virginia Normal School. In 1883 a
new brick building was erected. This was destroyed by
fire December 31, 1889. This same year a ladies' dormi-
tory known as the White House was built; and, in the
place of the building destroyed, two new buildings were
planned. In 1889 a new charter changed the name to
Founders' Hall, the administration building, was built
in 1904; Yount Hall, the Ladies' Dormitory, in 1905;
Central Heating Plant, 1906; Gymnasium, 1908; Wardo
Hall, a dormitory for young men, in 1910, and the new
church in 1914. All of the buildings are of brick except
the first two.
The principals and presidents of the college have been
as follows: D. C. Flory, 1880-1886; J. B. Wrightsman,
1886-1887; E. A. Miller, 1887-1888; E. M. Crouch,
1888-1890; E. A. Miller, 1890-1892; W. B. Yount, 1892-
1910; John S. Flory, 1910-1919; Paul Bowman, 1919-.
THE CHURCH AND EDUCATION 169
Of the other men who have helped to develop the school,
at least these should be mentioned : George B. Holsinger,
so widely known as a composer and leader of songs;
S. N. McCann, remembered for his missionary service
and his able Bible teaching ; and H. G. Miller, the faith-
ful chairman of the board of trustees for many years.
At Nokesville, Va., in the territory of Bridgewater Col-
lege, is Hebron Seminary. It is owned by the Eastern
District of Virginia. It was founded by I. N. H. Beahm.
It is a school for secondary education only, and acts as a
feeder to Bridgewater College. It meets a real need for
that kind of a Brethren's school east of the Blue Ridge
McPherson College had its beginning at the Annual
Meeting of 1887 at Ottawa, Kans. An enthusiastic meet-
ing was held at that time and much sentiment expressed
that the Brethren in Kansas should own a school of their
own. A committee was appointed to seek a location.
McPherson was selected, not only for its central and
favorable location, but also because the city offered some
excellent inducements in the donation of land. A large
dormitory was erected and school opened in September,
1888, with Professor S. Z. Sharp as president.
McPherson grew rapidly and had a fine patronage. A
large administration building was begun, but financial
reverses prevented its completion until 1898. This is
now known as the Sharp Building. The original dormi-
tory is now known as Fahnestock Hall, in memory of
Prof. S. B. Fahnestock, to whose untiring efforts much
of the success of the college has been due. In 1906 a
Carnegie Library was built. In 1909 a college farm was
purchased, and another was given to the school by a
friend, James Richardson. In 1911 the alumni erected a
170 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
gymnasium. A new heating plant was provided in 1915,
and the following year, Arnold's Hall, a large home for
ladies. A successful campaign for endowment was com-
pleted in 1916.
An early charter was obtained, which provides that the
directors hold the college property in trust for the Church
of the Brethren. The trustees now number fifteen, rep-
resenting the State Districts of Kansas, Nebraska, Mis-
souri, Oklahoma and Colorado. Presidents of the col-
lege have been as follows: S. Z. Sharp, A. M., 1888-
1896; C. E. Arnold, A. M., 1896-1902; Edward Frantz,
A. M., 1902-1910; S. J. Miller, A. M. (acting president),
1910-1911; J. A. Clement, Ph. D., 1911-1913; H. J.
Harnly, Ph. D.^ (acting president), 1913-1914; D. W.
Kurtz, A. M., D. D., 1914-.
Daleville College began as a select school, taught by
Professor I. N. H. Beahm, in 1890. There seemed to be
a real need for such a school in southern Virginia. Build-
ings and equipment were added from time to time : Nor-
mal Building, 1891, burned in 1903; the Administration
Building, 1897 ; Denton Hall, the boys' home, 1903 ; Nin-
inger Memorial Hall, the girls' home, 1909; the Power
Plant, 1909; Executive Residence, donated by B. F.
Nininger, 1909; Gymnasium, 1911; Fireman's residence,
1917; Garage, 1917. The presidents of the school have
been I. N. H. Beahm, 1891-1894; D. N. Eller, 1894-1897;
L. D. Ikenberry, 1897-1900; J. F. Gilbert, 1900-1903;
D. N. Eller, 1903-1911; T. S. Moherman, 1911-. Pro-
fessor Eller gave the longest service to the school, and
to him much credit is due for keeping the work going.
B. F. Nininger and T. C. Denton were the chief financial
supporters during these years of struggle and growth.
THE CHURCH AND EDUCATION 171
Daleville College is now directed by fourteen trustees,
representing the First District of Virginia, Southern Vir-
ginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina and Florida.
It has a large field for its territory, and, for its mission,
to serve the best interests of the church in these South-
ern States. The college is now engaging in a campaign
for an endowment that will make the institution a stand-
La Verne College, formerly Lordsburg, was founded
in 1891, when four men, David Kuns, Henry Kuns,
Daniel Houser and Samuel Overholser, purchased a very
large hotel building and refurnished it for school pur-
poses. It has an excellent environment. It lies in the
heart of sunny, southern California, with magnificent
scenery in view. This has attracted many people there
for the winter seasons and thus helped the patronage of
the college. The original building alone served the pur-
pose of the school until 1918, when a fine new home for
young women was built. The school now belongs to the
State Districts of Northern and Southern California and
Arizona. J. S. Kuns is president of the trustee body,
numbering fourteen. There have been frequent changes
in presidents : Dr. S. S. Garst, 1891-1893 ; E. A. Miller,
A. M., 1893-1899; I. N. H. Beahm, 1899; W. I. T.
Hoover, Ph. D., 1899-1901 ; W. C. Hanawalt, 1902-1908;
W. F. England, 1908-1912; J. P. Dickey, D. D., 1912-
1913; Edward Frantz, A. M., 1913-1915; S. J. Miller,
A. M., L. H. D., 1915-.
Manchester College was first founded as a United
Brethren school. One building was erected in 1889.
Rev. D. N. Howe, A. M., was president. In 1895 the
college building and ten acres of campus were purchased
by the Brethren. For several years there had been talk
172 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
of starting a school in Indiana. Nappanee, Muncie and
Ladoga were bidding for its location, which finally was
decided in favor of North Manchester. Professor E. S.
Young was the first president of the college, and Elder
L. T. Holsinger, chairman of the first board of trustees.
The other trustees were Dr. G. L. Shoemaker, E. S.
Young, S. S. Young, David Hollinger, G. B. Heeter, and
L. H. Eby. A new building, known as the Bible School,
was erected in 1896. It was the purpose of the promoters
to make Manchester primarily a Bible school. Its first
years gave much promise of success. A Ladies' Home
was built in 1898. These and other improvements placed
a large debt upon the school. This was finally lifted by
a great sacrifice of the owners and by the personal efforts
of Elder I. D. Parker and others. The school, freed from
debt, became the property of the State Districts of Indi-
ana, Ohio and Michigan, the last District being added in
After a long period of financial reverses the institution
is seeing more prosperous days. The Young Men's Home
was built in 1906, the Gymnasium in 1911, the Heating
Plant in 1913, the Science Hall in 1915, the Ladies' Home
rebuilt and enlarged in 1916, the Mission Chapel in 1918,
and the Hospital was donated in 1919. The annual en-
rollment of students has been increased in seven years
from two hundred to more than five hundred. The en-
dowment has passed the two hundred thousand dollar
Presidents of the college have been as follows : E. S.
Young, 1895-1899; H. P. Albaugh, 1899-1900; L. D.
Ikenberry, chairman of faculty, 1900-1901 ; E. M.
Crouch, 1901-1910; E. C. Bixler, 1910-1911; Otho
Winger, 191 1-.
THE CHURCH AND EDUCATION 173
Blue Ridge College was first known as Maryland
Collegiate Institute. The District Conference of Eastern
Maryland in 1899 approved of a Brethren's school in the
State. A committee of five brethren, John E. Senseney,
Ephraim Stouffer, Amos Wampler, William E. Roop and
John Weybright, was appointed to investigate conditions
and report later. Though the District did not assume the
financial obligation, it approved of the plans of the com-
mittee. These brethren then assumed the responsibility
and school opened November 1, 1899.
Two large buildings were erected in 1900 and other
improvements followed. In 1910 a new charter was
secured for the school under the name Blue Ridge Col-
lege. The school had a bright outlook, when an unex-
pected difficulty came. A large cement plant located near
the college. The dust and smoke of the heavy blasting
made proper school conditions impossible. A new loca-
tion was sought. In the fall of 1912 New Windsor Col-
lege was purchased by the trustees of Blue Ridge College,
which was from now on conducted at New Windsor.
The new location is a beautiful one, right in the heart of
one of the best sections of Maryland, forty miles west of
The present college campus has an area of about
twenty-five acres. There are four main buildings and
two houses. " Old Main " is the administration building,
first erected seventy years ago, but remodeled in 1913 to
be a thoroughly modern structure. Windsor Hall is the
college chapel, with a Ladies' Dormitory above. The
Auditorium-gymnasium, erected in 1915, is among the
most useful of the school buildings. Other buildings are
contemplated soon. A college endowment is being sought
to make the school a standard college. The institution is
174 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
fully accredited by the State of Maryland, from which it
receives annually $5,000 for scholarships.
The presidents of the college have been William E.
Roop, William E. Wine, Charles D. Bonsack, J. J. John,
Paul Bowman and F. F. Holsopple.
Elizabethtown College is located at Elizabethtown,
in the northwestern part of Lancaster County, thus being
within the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In 1898 a
meeting was called in the Church of the Brethren in
Reading, Pa., to consider the founding of a school within
the State District, at which time a committee was ap-
pointed to consider the question at length. One year later
the committee decided to locate the school at Elizabeth-
town, and in July, 1900, work on the erection of the first
building was begun.
School opened November 13, 1900. Professor I. N. H.
Beahm having been elected as the first president, but be-
ing prevented on account of illness from assuming these
duties, Professor G. N. Falkenstein took charge of this
The growth of the school made necessary a second
building, which was completed in 1906.
It was the hope of the founders from the beginning
that this should be characterized as a church school
strictly under the management and direction of the
The voting power of electing the board of trustees was
vested in the contributors until 1917, when the donors
offered the institution to the State District in which it is
located. This offer was finally accepted by the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania and by the Southern District of
Pennsylvania, who are now joint owners of the institu-
THE CHURCH AND EDUCATION 175
January 2, 1919, the board of trustees, composed of
eight members elected by the Eastern District of Penn-
sylvania, and four members elected by the Southern Dis-
trict of Pennsylvania, assembled at the college and or-
ganized, with Elder S. H. Hertzler as president of the
board; Elder Charles L. Baker, vice-president; A. G.
Longenecker, secretary; and Elder I. W. Taylor, treas-
The board at this first meeting inaugurated an active
campaign to secure the required endowment for the
The heads of the college have been as follows : G. N.
Falkenstein, principal, 1900-1904; I. N. H. Beahm, presi-
dent, 1904-1907; D. C. Reber, acting president, 1907-
1910, president, 1910-1917; H. K. Ober, president, 1918-
Bethany Bible School was founded in 1905 by A. C.
Wieand and E. B. Hoff. They had conceived the idea
of a Bible School for the Brethren, where young men and
women could be trained for definite Christian service.
They finally decided that Chicago would be the best loca-
tion for such an institution.
The work began in a very small way in the home of
Brother E. B. Hoff on Hastings Street. Twelve students
were enrolled the first term. But the attendance grew
rapidly and larger quarters had to be secured. The
Brethren's Mission was used for a time. Later an entire
city block was purchased on West Van Buren Street,
just east of Garfield Park.
The first building was erected and dedicated in 1909.
This soon became too small. In 1913 a second very large
building was erected as a home for students. The base-
ment is used for classrooms. The third building was
176 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
completed in 1918. It is a home for families. There is
a definite plan on foot for large additions to the present
The aim of the institution is to develop the spiritual
life of the students, give them a mastery of the Bible for
practical purposes and afford plenty of opportunity for
practical Christian work. There are many different mis-
sions and much practical Christian work carried on in
the city. The school work includes a full theological
course for ministers, with shorter courses for Bible teach-
ers, Sunday-school teachers, and Christian workers.
From a small beginning of twelve students and two teach-
ers, the work has grown to an enrollment of three hun-
dred, with fifteen full-time teachers and as many part-
Since its organization Albert C. Wieand has been presi-
dent and Emanuel B. Hoff, associate. Closely associated
with them during these years was Elder James M. Moore,
who is now pastor at Lanark, 111.
The General Educational Board. When the colleges
first started there was little supervision over them except
such as was given them by the congregation in which the
school was located. In 1890 Annual Meeting appointed
for each Brethren school a visiting committee of three
elders, " whose duty it shall be to watch over the moral
and religious influence of the schools, and see that the
principles of the Gospel and church government be
carried out as defended by Annual Meeting." These
visiting committees continued their work until they were
superseded by the General Educational Board.
This board was at first composed of seven members,
four of whom were in no way connected with the schools.
The first constitution of the board gave to it large powers
THE CHURCH AND EDUCATION 177
and duties, a much larger work, in fact, than it ever cared
to assume or was ever able to accomplish. A new con-
stitution for this board was adopted in 1916.
The Work of the Board. Since its first appointment,
the board, through sub-committees, has been making
visits to the schools almost yearly. Lordsburg, being far
away, has not been visited directly as often as the others.
During the war period the board has omitted the annual
visit twice. During these years the board has done
much to bring about a better understanding and closer
cooperation among the schools. For awhile, the board
worked more in a negative way, passing; more on what
should not be, rather than leading out in a positive way.
With the adoption of the new constitution the board has
done much in a positive way, through educational litera-
ture, stirring educational programs at the Annual Meet-
ing, and through personal appeals to the Brotherhood.
As an example of what is being planned, the following
from the Forward Movement in the Church of the Breth-
ren speaks for itself:
In our church schools there shall be annually
1. Three thousand five hundred students enrolled, at least six-
ty per cent of whom are pursuing regular college courses.
2. Three hundred thousand dollars raised for endowment.
3. Ninety per cent of our students engaged in some form of
regular Bible study.
4. Twenty per cent of our students looking forward towards a
definite life of Christian service.
5. Fifty per cent of our college students dedicating their lives
to the ministry or mission work.
Members of the Educational Board :
A. C. Wieand, 1908-1915. W. B. Yount, 1908-1912.
S. G. Lehmer, 1908-1909. Edward Frantz, 1908-1911.
J. C. Bright, 1908-1915. L. T. Holsinger, 1908-1915. .
178 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
H. C. Early, 1908-1915. D. W. Kurtz, 1915-present.
A. G. Crosswhite, 1909-1913. D. M. Garver, 1915-present.
Otho Winger, 1911-1915. I. W. Taylor, 1915-1916.
J. S. Flory, 1912-present. D. C. Reber, 1916-present.
J. H. B. Williams, 1913-1918. J. W. Lear, 1918-present.
A Review. It is with great pleasure to many that
the Church of the Brethren is getting back to an active
encouragement of higher Christian education. The
founders of the church and the leaders of the eighteenth
century were educated men and encouraged education.
Then came the decline during the days of western migra-
tion and pioneer settlements. With the revival of the
printing press came the great revival of a thirst for higher
learning. Our revival of foreign missionary zeal made
our schools a necessity. At first these schools were op-
posed. Later they were tolerated, but left alone by the
church in general. Now we are well along in a period
when the church is taking hold of the schools, supporting
them and directing them to the largest interest of the
kingdom of God.
References and Topics
1. General Survey.
Two Centuries, chapter 12. S. Z. Sharp.
2. Annual Meeting Direction.
Annual Meeting Minutes for 1893. 1908, 1916.
3. History of Individual Schools.
College catalogues and bulletins.
4. Status of schools in 1917.
Brethren Year Book, 1918.
Early beginning of Sunday-schools. " The year 1738
marks an important epoch in the Christian education, not
only of the Church of the Brethren, but: of all churches.
It is the year in which the first Sunday-school was estab-
lished in America, and gives the Church of the Brethren
credit for starting this Sunday-school instruction. Not
at Ephrata, as is sometimes supposed, but at German-
town was the first Sunday-school begun, more than forty
years before Sunday-school work was begun by Robert
Raikes in England.
" It was in the year 1738, at Germantown, Pa., that the
Brethren had regular Sunday afternoon services for the
unmarried or the young people at the home of Christo-
pher Sower. There is evidence that Ludwig Hoecker
was the leading spirit, if not the superintendent, of this
work at Germantown, but afterward he, with others, went
to Ephrata. He must have been an educated man, for at
Ephrata he was the principal of an academy and also the
superintendent of a Sunday-school for more than thirty
years. The exodus from Germantown to Ephrata of
some prominent members did not seem to stop the Sun-
day-school work at Germantown; for in 1744 Brother
Sower printed Sunday-school cards, on each of which is
a scriptural quotation and a stanza of poetry. Samples
of these cards are still extant." — S. Z. Sharp, in Two
Centuries, page 311.
180 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
The Annual Meeting and Sunday-schools. It has
been seen that the Brethren were leaders in establishing
Sunday-schools. The Annual Meeting of the eighteenth
century must have approved of this, for as late as 1789
an urgent appeal was made to the membership to be very
diligent in instructing the children in the Word of God.
Why the Brethren should have come to neglect this
duty, and even to oppose it, is hard to understand, unless
it was due to the absence among them of any church
literature. In 1838 the Annual Meeting advised against
Sunday-schools. Twenty years later, however, it altered
its decision to the extent of not opposing them.
In 1862 Annual Meeting gave positive approval of the
Sunday-school. In 1886 it decided that a minority could
not prevent a church from holding a Sunday-school. In
1896 it took the Sunday-schools of the church under its
fostering care and appointed a general committee to give
general help and encouragement.
Early Sunday-schools. The earliest Sunday-schools
of the nineteenth century in which Brethren participated
were generally known as union Sunday-schools. The
church did not own them nor direct them. These schools
were generally held in some schoolhouse, and were often
officered and taught by those who were not members of
the church. Only gradually did these schools gain en-
trance into the church and win its approval and support.
As early as 1832 there was a union Sunday-school con-
ducted at the Oley church, Berks County, Pa. This
church was without preaching services and the school
seemed to fill this need. In 1845 a Sunday-school was
organized in the White Oak District in Eastern Pennsyl-
vania by Jonas Gibble and wife. They directed a pros-
perous school here for several years, while they were also
engaged in farming and teaching public school. In 1853
Dr. H. Geiger, husband of the late Mary S. Geiger, or-
ganized a Sunday-school at Philadelphia. It has been
kept up ever since.
In 1856 two Sunday-schools were formed, with which
were connected two persons who were to become strong
in their influence in the church. In Mifflin County, Pa.,
a Sunday-school was organized by some young people
whose parents were members of the Church of the Breth-
ren. They could not get any member of the church to
direct this school, so they appealed to a Lutheran member
to superintend it. One, Joseph Amick, was a member of
this school. He united with the church the following
year and became a loyal supporter, not only of Sunday-
schools but every other aggressive work. In the same
year, in the Buffalo valley church, Union County, J. G.
Royer began his long career as a Sunday-school teacher.
During the sixties Sunday-schools became more and
more common. Even then there were many western
churches that did not have meetinghouses. So the Sun-
day-schools were organized in homes and in schoolhouses.
In the seventies more interest was aroused, and in some
Districts there began an association of the Sunday-schools
that has since developed into our large District Sunday-
school Conferences. One of the first of these District
Sunday-school Conferences was held in the Wawaka
church, Northern Indiana, September 15, 1876. Such
meetings have now become common and exert a large in-
fluence for good.
Sunday-school Literature. Our Sunday-school, a
periodical prepared to help the Sunday-school movement,
was published by S. Z. Sharp at Ashland, Ohio, in 1879.
In the same year he combined with this paper, both the
182 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Children at Work, published at Lanark, 111., by Elder
J. H. Moore, and the Young Disciple, which had been
published by the Brumbaugh Bros, since January 1, 1876.
Two years later the Young Disciple was again published at
Huntingdon, with Our Sunday School as a department
edited by Elder S. Z. Sharp. In 1882 there was combined
with the Young Disciple, the Youth's Advance, published
at Mt. Morris, Illinois. The Young Disciple continued
until November 25, 1905, when it was succeeded by Our
Boys and Girls. On the same date began a new paper,
Our Young People, designed to be the organ of the Chris-
tian Workers' organization. Since 1905, a new paper,
with an old name, Children at Work, has been published
for the primary department.
In 1879 the Brethren's Quarterly began, with S. Z.
Sharp as editor. Since 1886 this quarterly has been pub-
lished continuously, edited in turn by L. Huber, James M.
Neff, L. W. Teeter, I. B. Trout and J. E. Miller. Differ-
ent quarterlies for the different departments have been
added from time to time. The Brethren Juvenile Quar-
terly was published from 1891 to 1916. This was suc-
ceeded by two papers, the Primary Quarterly and the
Junior Quarterly. The Home Department Quarterly be-
gan in 1917, and the Intermediate Quarterly in 1918. The
Brethren Primary Teachers' Quarterly was published
from 1902 to 1906. The Brethren Teachers' Monthly has
been published since 1907.
The general character of this Sunday-school literature
is excellent, and compares well with the best published
by other houses. The present editor is Elder J. E. Miller,
with Maud Newcomer assistant. Recently there has been
issued a series of graded lesson quarterlies by President
A. C. Wieand of Bethany Bible School.
The amount of all this literature is large, as the follow-
ing report, showing the circulation of these periodicals
for the year ending March 1, 1918, will indicate:
Our Young People, 33,059
Our Boys and Girls, 18,317
Children at Work, 15,112
Teachers' Monthly, 7,410
Advanced Quarterly 69,000
Intermediate Quarterly, 7,600
Junior Quarterly, 25,000
Home Department Quarterly, 5,200
The General Sunday School Board of today had its
beginning in the Sunday-school Advisory Committee, ap-
pointed by Conference in 1896. This first committee had
several important functions : it was to guard the Sunday-
school literature of the church to see that it remained
sound in its doctrinal teachings. It was to encourage the
Sunday-school work of the church, especially by holding
an annual Sunday-school meeting at the Conference. It
later began publishing annual statistics about our Sun-
day-schools. To help in this work, Annual Meeting ad-
vised each State District to appoint a Sunday-school
Secretary. The duty of this secretary was to gather sta-
tistics, inspire the schools of the District to better work,
and to give all the direction to the work possible. Each
District now has its Sunday-school Secretary, the value
of whose work depends largely upon his own initiative
and ability. Some of the ablest workers of the Brother-
hood have first proved their efficiency as State District
The first committee was advisory only. In 1911 Con-
ference superseded this committee of three, with the Gen-
eral Sunday School Board, composed of five members.
184 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
This committee was given authority to make its decisions
Since then the board has done some excellent construc-
tive work. It has united our Sunday-school efforts more
than ever. It has developed the teacher-training courses.
It has provided for our Sunday-schools literature as good
as the best. From 1914 to 1919 the direction of the
Christian Workers' Meeting was in its hands. The board
meets at Elgin at stated times. The main work of carry-
ing out its decisions is in the hands of its secretary, who
has, so far, been the editor of the Sunday-school litera-
Members of the Sunday-school Committee and General
Sunday School Board :
I. B. Trout, 1896-1900.
A. C. Wieand, 1896-1900
I. N. H. Beahm, 1896-1899
S. H. Hertzler, 1899-1902
C. E. Arnold, 1901-1903
Levi Minnich, 1901-1904, 1907-1917
J. G. Wine, 1903-1904
C. D. Bonsack, 1903-1906
H. P. Albaugh, 1904-1907
O. L. Minnich, 1905-1908
S. J. Miller, 1906-1909
D. H. Zigler, 1908-1915
James M. Mohler, 1909-present
H. K. Ober, 1911-present
Lafayette Steele, 1911-1918
S. S. Blough, 1914-1917, 1918-1919
J. S. Zimmerman, 1914-1917
Ezra Flory, 1916-present
C. S. Ikenberry, 1917-present
J. S. Cline, 1919-present
Progress of the Sunday-schools. The Sunday-
schools of the Brethren have grown rapidly during the
last twenty-five years. The 1916 report shows 1,252
schools, with an average attendance of 69,814. The total
offerings of these schools reached $114,742.12. Of this
amount $33,834.21 was given to missions. During the
year 5,745 of the pupils were converted. The Sunday-
school has not only become a great teaching and social
agency of the church, but a great evangelizing force.
The board has set as its standard for the next five years
That in the Sunday-school field there be annually:
1. 100 new schools started.
2. 15,000 new scholars enrolled and an average attendance of
not less than seventy-five per cent of the enrollment of the main
3. An earnest, prayerful effort to lead every unconverted
scholar to a confession of Christ and active church membership.
4. $40,000 raised for missions.
5. The daily study of the Sunday-school lesson from the open
Bible in every home.
References and Readings
The Growth of the Sunday-school Movement in the Brethren
Church, by Elizabeth Myer, in Two Centuries.
Minutes of Annual Meeting.
The history of the Church of the Brethren has been
largely directed and formulated by the Annual Meeting,
which originated in 1741. From 1741 to 1778 there are
no minutes on record of these Conferences. After 1778
there are many blanks in the records. For some years
the entire minutes are missing. For some years the places
of meeting are unknown. Not until 1830 do the records
begin to be complete. In the following list no mention is
made of the meetings where the place is not known. Not
until 1837 do we begin to have regular records of the
names of the Standing Committee. Even after this it
was more than a generation before the names of the
officers were always recorded. In the following list the
names of the officers are given after 1877. Before this
we know who many of them were, but do not know
exactly the years that they served.
Elder Martin Urner, Sr., was perhaps the moderator
of the first Council in 1742. During the eighteenth cen-
tury meetings were evidently presided over by such men
as the two Urners, Alexander Mack, Jr., Christopher
Sower, Jr., and Daniel Leatherman. During the first half
of the nineteenth century tradition names as moderators
Henry Danner, John Zug, Daniel Gerber, David Pfouts
and George Shively. From 1848 to 1858 Elder George
Hoke of Ohio was moderator. In 1859 and 1860, and
again in 1876, Elder D. P. Sayler of Maryland presided.
188 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
During the war time Elder John Kline of Virginia direct-
ed the deliberations at four meetings. After his death,
Elder H. D. Davy of Ohio served twelve consecutive
years. He served longer than any other moderator and
was described by one as being " the most dignified and
efficient chairman that ever swayed the scepter over a
Tunker Conference." — Holsinger's History, p. 463.
Of the reading clerks we have little record before
1860. For the next fifteen years D. P. Sayler, John Wise
and Enoch Eby served as readers. In 1841 Elder Henry
Kurtz began keeping the records of the meetings. He
served in this capacity for twenty years. In 1855 Elder
James Quinter was called to assist Elder Kurtz. Elder
Quinter had the longest experience of any officer of the
meeting. For thirty years he was writing clerk or assist-
ant every year except one.
Time and Place of Annual Meetings
1778 Pipe Creek, Md.
1779 Conewago, Pa.
1781 Conestoga, Pa.
1783 Pipe Creek, Md.
1785 Big Conewago, Pa.
1788 Conestoga, Pa.
1789 Great Conestoga, Pa.
1790 Coventry, Pa.
1793 Great Conewago, Pa.
1794 Shenandoah, Va.
1797 Black Water, Va. s
1798 Little Conewago, Pa.
1799 Pipe Creek, Md.
1804 Pipe Creek, Md.
1810 Antietam, Pa.
1813 Coventry, Pa.
1814 Pipe Creek, Md.
1815 White Oak, Pa.
1819 Great Conewago, Pa.
1820 Conestoga, Pa.
1821 Glade, Somerset County, Pa.
1822 Canton, Ohio.
1827 Lancaster County, Pa.
1828 York County, Pa.
1830 Pipe Creek, Md.
1831 Conestoga, Pa.
1832 Rockingham County, Va.
1833 Lost Creek Church, Juniata County, Pa.
1834 Stark County, Ohio.
1835 Cumberland County, Pa.
1836 Cumberland County, Pa.
1837 Linville Creek, Rockingham County, Va.
1838 Washington County, Md.
1839 Huntingdon County, Pa.
1840 Morrison's Cove, Bedford County, Pa.
1841 Somerset County, Ohio.
1842 Beaver Dam, Md.
1843 Mohican Church, Wayne County, Ohio.
1844 Conewago, Pa.
1845 Roanoke, Va.
1846 Trout Creek, Lancaster County, Pa.
1847 Franklin County, Pa.
1848 Wayne County, Ohio.
1849 Berlin, Pa.
1850 Bear Creek, Montgomery County, Ohio.
1851 New Hope, Augusta County, Va.
1852 Turkey Creek, Elkhart County, Ind.
1853 Beaver Dam, Md.
1854 Ashland County, Ohio.
1855 Aughwick, Huntingdon County, Pa.
1856 Waddams Grove, Stephenson County, 111.
1857 Manor Church, Washington County, Md.
1858 Bachelor Run Church, Carroll County, Ind.
1859 Elk Creek Church, Somerset County, Pa.
1860 Limestone Church, Washington County, Tenn.
1861 Beaver Creek Church, Rockingham County, Va.
1862 Erbaugh Church, Montgomery County, Ohio.
1863 Clover Creek Church, Blair County, Pa.
1864 Hagerstown Church, Wayne County, Ind.
1865 Rock River, Lee County, 111.
1866 Antietam Church, Franklin County, Pa.
1867 Pipe Creek, Md.
1868 Elkhart County, Ind.
1869 Peters Creek, Pa.
1870 Waterloo, Black Hawk County, Iowa.
1871 Berks County, Pa.
1872 Wayne County, Ohio.
1873 Meyersdale, Pa.
1874 Macoupin County, 111.
1875 Covington, Ohio.
1876 De Graff, Logan County, Ohio.
Year Place Moderator Reading Clerk
1877 New Enterprise,
Pa D. P. Sayler Enoch Eby
1878 No. Manchester,
Ind EnochEby R.H.Miller
1879 Broadway, Va R. H. Miller Enoch Eby
1880 Lanark, 111 Enoch Eby John Wise
1881 Ashland, Ohio ....Enoch Eby John Wise
1882 Milford Junction,
Ind Enoch Eby John Wise
1883 Bismarck Grove,
Kans Enoch Eby John Wise
1884 Dayton, Ohio Enoch Eby John Wise
1885 Mexico, Pa John Wise W. R. Deeter
1886 Pitsburg, Ohio D. E. Price Daniel Vaniman
1887 Ottawa, Kans EnochEby R.H.Miller
1888 No. Manchester,
Ind Enoch Eby D. N. Workman
1889 Harrisonburg, Va. S. S. Mohler John Wise
1890 Pertle Springs,
Mo Enoch Eby John Wise
1891 Hagerstown, Md. . . Daniel Vaniman M. J. McClure
M. J. McClure
J. G. Royer
J. G. Royer
J. G. Royer
fa. L. Miller
HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
1892 Cedar Rapids, la.
1893 Muncie, Ind
1894 Meyersdale, Pa.
1895 Decatur, 111
1896 Ottawa, Kans. ...
1897 Frederick, Md. ..
1898 Naperville, 111. ..
1899 Roanoke, Va. ...
1900 No. Manchester,
1901 Lincoln, Nebr. ,.,
1902 Harrisburg, Pa. .
Moderator Read. Clerk
. Daniel VanimanM. J. McClure
.D. E. Price
. Enoch Eby
. Enoch Eby
.D. E. Price
. L. W. Teeter
. W. R. Deeter
L. W. Teeter
M. j. McClure
L. H. Dickey
P. R. Keltner
. L. T. Holsinger I. B. Trout
. D. L. Miller L. W. Teeter
. Daniel Vaniman H. C. Early
. D. L. Miller L. T. Holsinger
Bellefontaine, O. ..
Springfield, 111. ...
Los Angeles, Cal.
Des Moines, la
Winona Lake, Ind.
St. Joseph, Mo. ...
Winona Lake, Ind.
Winona Lake, Ind.
Wichita, Kans. ...
Winona Lake, Ind.
S. F. Sanger
H. C. Early
S. F. Sanger
L. T. Holsinger
H. C. Early
D. M. Garver
H. C. Early
D. M. Garver
H. C. Early
D. M. Garver
H. C. Early
I. W. Taylor
H. C. Early
I. W. Taylor
H. C. Early
I. B. Trout
I. D. Parker
D. F. Hoover
H. C. Early
S. F. Sanger
Geo. W. Lentz
G. B. Rover
P. R. Keltner
I. B. Trout
Geo. W. Lentz
I. W. Taylor
Geo. W. Lentz
J. W. Lear
D. L. Miller
J. G. Royer
J. H. Moore
D. L. Miller
D. L. Miller
J. H. Moore
D. L. Miller
J. H. Moore
I. B. Trout
L. H. Eby
A. C. Wieand
H. B. Brumbaugh
A. G. Crosswhite
I. B. Trout
S. N. McCann
A. C. Wieand
A. G. Crosswhite
J. W. Lear
J. M. Blough
J. W. Lear
S. N. McCann
J. A. Dove
J. M. Moore
A. C. Wieand
J. J. Yoder
A. C. Wieand
J. M. Moore
Special Meetings. The minutes record three Special
Conferences, all held in Indiana. In 1845 one was held
in Elkhart County. In 1848 a meeting of considerable
importance was held in Carroll County. The need for
this grew out of the departure from the Brethren of those
known as New Dunkers. In January, 1918, a Special
Conference was held at Goshen to consider problems
growing out of the World War.
Time and Place of Meetings. The long-accustomed
time of holding Annual Meeting was at Pentecost. This
frequently was found an inconvenient time. Privilege
was later given to the committees on arrangements to
make some little change in the time, where it was thought
best. In 1917, in order to accommodate western breth-
ren, who could not get reduced passenger rates early, it
was decided that the Conference should not meet earlier
than June 5.
ANNUAL MEETINGS 191
The first Conferences were held in the old colonial
churches in Pennsylvania. Before the close of the cen-
tury both Maryland and Virginia were taking care of the
Meeting, and in 1822 it was first held west of the Ohio
River. By 1850 the custom was established of holding
the Meeting alternately east and west of the Ohio. Later
three general divisions of territory were recognized : east
of the Ohio, from the Ohio to the Mississippi, and west
of the Mississippi.
In 1907 and 1914 the Conference was held on the Pa-
cific coast. On account of the distance from the main
body of the church membership it is not likely that this
section will ever secure the Meeting as often as the other
three divisions. Before State Districts were formed the
Annual Meetings were located according to the invitation
of local churches or their elders. After State Districts
were organized the rule prevailed for different Districts
to call for, and care for, the Meeting. The tendency now
is to have a few established places. Winona Lake, Ind.,
and Hershey, Pa., have become favorites.
Standing Committee. The use of the Standing Com-
mittee seems to have prevailed from the earliest Confer-
ences. Dr. Brumbaugh thinks that the suggestion was
taken from a procedure at the Zinzendorf synods where
" a committee from all the different denominations should
hear all questions and decide what ones should come be-
fore the synod." The purpose was that order might pre-
vail and endless discussions be avoided. This seemed a
wise course to the early brethren. From the rule of these
synods also arose the practice of having questions for
consideration come through local congregations. — Brum-
baugh's History, p. 479.
192 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
During the first half of the nineteenth century the
Standing Committee was chosen at the time and place of
the Conference. The members were usually chosen by
the elder or elders of the congregation in which the Con-
ference was held. In 1868 this custom was changed, and
each State District elected one of its own elders to serve
on the Committee. At first there was no limit to the
number of times an elder could serve on the Committee
or act as an officer of the Meeting. The custom prevailed
that as long as a brother served faithfully he should be
continued year after year. Since 1897 no elder can serve
as a member of Standing Committee or as an officer of
Annual Meeting two years in succession. Each State
District is allowed one delegate on the Standing Com-
mittee. Those Districts that have a membership of
thirty-five hundred or more are allowed two delegates.
The Standing Committee meets on Thursday before the
Conference and organizes by electing officers, both for its
work and for the Annual Meeting. Its functions are
mainly three in number. It makes nominations for all
vacancies occurring year after year. These nominations
are confirmed by the General Conference. It hears any
appeals from dissatisfied members or churches and may
recommend to Conference that committees be sent to in-
vestigate conditions and give help. It considers queries
sent from State Districts to the Annual Meeting. If the
query does not have an answer, the Committee discusses
it and recommends an answer to Conference. The Com-
mittee has no right to change the wording of a query.
Before the present method of appointing the Standing
Committee was adopted, the Committee distributed its
work among the other elders present at the Conference.
A number of committees were appointed and to each was
ANNUAL MEETINGS 193
given a certain number of queries to consider and to sug-
gest answers for the open Conference.
Delegates to Annual Meeting. In earlier years when
the Conferences were small, all members present had the
right to vote on questions before the Meeting. Unless a
question could be passed unanimously, it was tabled or
held over for another Meeting. Congregations sent dele-
gates and so did the State Districts, but all present had a
right to vote. Since 1882 the voting power at Annual
Meeting has been confined to the members of the Stand-
ing Committee and to the delegates from local congrega-
tions. Each congregation is allowed one delegate, and if
the congregation has a membership of two hundred or
more it is allowed two delegates. These delegates must
pass a credential committee appointed by the Standing
Committee and confirmed by Annual Meeting. Certain
qualifications are demanded of those who serve as dele-
gates. They must not wear gold for ornaments, nor use,
buy, sell or raise tobacco. They must be recommended
by the local church for their spiritual life and faithful-
Conference Deliberations. The business session of
the Annual Meeting opens on Tuesday morning. After
devotional exercises, and sometimes an address of wel-
come, the regular work begins. The fifteenth chapter of
Acts is usually read as scriptural warrant for the Meet-
ing. Conference has also adopted certain rules which
govern the procedure of the meetings. The movement of
business depends largely upon the skill of the presiding
moderator. All members may participate in the discus-
sions, but if any objections are offered to the passage of
any question it must be decided by vote of the delegates
and Standing Committee: a two-thirds majority shall be
194 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
necessary to pass answers to all questions ; a majority for
all other motions.
Before the days of missions, education and Sunday-
schools, the work of Conference consisted in answering
queries or in settling difficulties. Now much attention
is given to appointing members on various committees
and in listening to reports of the work done by the various
committees and boards. One of the most interesting
features of the Conference now is the appointment of
missionaries to the foreign fields.
Conferences of Other Days. Within the memories of
men and women yet living, there have been great changes
in the manner of holding our Annual Meetings. The offi-
cial minutes of 1852 give the following introduction:
" According to the appointment of last year the brethren
began to assemble on Saturday, and on account of quite a
large congregation being collected, public worship was
commenced that afternoon, and continued on Sunday
from nine o'clock in the morning till late in the afternoon.
On Monday morning before public worship, the Yearly
Meeting was organized by a general committee being
chosen, which then retired and received the papers sent in,
while public worship was continued. Monday evening the
papers were distributed among eleven committees, and on
Tuesday morning, the first of June, the General Council
assembled, as usual with singing, exhortation and prayer."
Another account of this same Meeting tells us that the
business part of this Meeting was held in a barn about
eighty feet in length and forty in width. There were pos-
sibly near five thousand people in attendance, about one
thousand of whom were members of the Church of the
Brethren. There were preaching services each evening,
and during the Meeting eighteen were converted.
ANNUAL MEETINGS 195
Many of the brethren who attended these Meetings
came on horseback. Before the days of railroads some of
the ministers rode for hundreds of miles to the place of
Meeting. But they generally took plenty of time and did
much preaching on the way to and from the Conference.
Conveniences then were not many, but much love and hos-
pitality were manifested. All who came were lodged and
boarded free of charge.
In the character of the Meetings there have been great
changes. There were few special programs given then,
but there were many stirring sermons preached. These
were often evangelistic and it was not uncommon for a
number to be baptized during the Meeting. Usually there
was held a love-feast. If all could not attend this, prefer-
ence was given to those from a distance. Thus they
bound themselves together with a love and unity that was
strengthening to them in the days when they were scat-
tered to their pioneer homes.
But the Brethren had their differences then, as well as
their joys and blessings. One is rather surprised to read
of some of the questions with which the Conference had
to deal. The record of the decisions, however, shows up
well when compared with the manner in which other de-
nominations dealt with these troubles. Many good things
were lacking which we have today. Then we had no or-
ganized Mission Board, no publishing house, no colleges,
no Sunday-schools, no Christian Workers' Meetings and
no special programs at the Conference to push forward
Annual Meetings Today stand in striking contrast
to these pioneer meetings in many way;;. The work of
lodging and feeding the present-day multitudes is enor-
mous, when people come by thousands instead of hun-
1% HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
dreds, by trainloads instead of wagonloads. The amount
of business now for the Standing Committee keeps it
very busy four days instead of one day. And these days
are filled with meetings of varied character for the gen-
eral public: Special Bible Conferences, Peace meetings,
Temperance meetings, Foreign Volunteer meetings, Dis-
trict Mission Board meetings, Country Church Confer-
ences, Sisters' Aid Society meetings, Child Rescue meet-
ings and the great conferences in behalf of the colleges,
Sunday-schools and foreign missions. In fact, the great-
est part of the Annual Meeting comes before the business
sessions. But even in the business sessions these great
questions of the church's activities are consuming more
and more time. As an educational agency for the Breth-
ren, the Annual Meeting has come to occupy an impor-
The Becker Bicentennial Conference. Fresh in the
memory of the Brethren is the great Bicentennial Con-
ference, dedicated to the memory of that great pioneer,
Elder Peter Becker, who led the Brethren to America two
centuries ago. It was held at Winona Lake, Ind., June
4-11, 1919. It has been very generally pronounced the
greatest Brethren Conference ever held.
A new and striking feature of this Annual Meeting was
the two-day Life-work Conference for young people.
Some of the ablest speakers of the church brought before
the young people the possibilities and blessings of a life
of devoted Christian service. There were in attendance
many young people who took an active part. This was
a great contrast to other days, when young people were
supposed to be seen, but not heard. The young people
have become a powerful force in the Church of the
Brethren, and will be more so in the future.
ANNUAL MEETINGS 197
The main part of the program had both a backward
and a forward look. The past history of the church was
considered, not so much to glory in it as to gain lessons
and inspiration for the work of today and tomorrow.
The general thought and talk of the program was " for-
ward," not " backward."
The Five- Year Forward Movement program started
off with a bound. Every activity of the church gives
promise of rapid growth. The Sunday-schools are or-
ganized for efficient and systematic work. The Brethren
colleges are prospering as never before and are planning
big things for the future. The contribution to missions
was certainly most gratifying. Thirty -two lives were
consecrated for foreign work, while there was a great
thank offering of more than $150,000.
These activities afld results, contrasted with what was
done a few years ago, show wonderful progress. Judg-
ing by the past, and present, there is a great future for
the Church of the Brethren.
References and Readings
1. Origin of Annual Meeting.
Brumbaugh's History, chapter 12.
2. Standing Committees of Annual Meeting.
Eastern Pennsylvania, pp. 544-563.
3. Annual Meeting Decisions.
Annual Meeting Minutes.
Annual Meeting Reports.
4. Description of Annual Meetings.
Eastern Pennsylvania, pp. 541-578.
Indiana, pp. 205-232.
Northeastern Ohio, pp. 240-287.
Western Pennsylvania, pp. 291-297.
The Church of the Brethren has never formulated or
approved of any definite organized form of church gov-
ernment, but gradually through the years a system of gov-
ernment has developed. Alexander Mack, the founder
of the church, believed that a form of government was
necessary. This was one of the reasons why he could
not agree with the renowned Pietist, Ernest Hochmann,
and decided to found a separate organization.
The Form of Church Polity may be hard to define.
It is neither monarchial, episcopal, presbyterian, nor
congregational as such. " What then is New Testament
Church Polity? It may be called an Ecclesiastical De-
mocracy — a government of the people, for the people and
by the people. It comprises a combination of forms.
"1. It is democratic in the sense that the highest au-
thority is vested in the membership.
" 2. It is republican in the sense that the church
chooses representatives to execute her will.
" 3. It is congregational in local matters, but general
in all questions of doctrine and matters of a general
The Church of the Brethren has taken this view of
Church Polity. — Elder I. D. Parker, in Two Centuries,
The Highest Authority in the Church of the Breth-
ren is the Annual Meeting. As already described, the
200 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
final voting power in the Annual Meeting is vested in the
hody of delegates sent from the local churches and State
Districts. These delegates may be either brethren or
sisters; they may be of the laity, deacons, ministers or
elders. The principle on which the decisions of this body
are made and the force of these decisions may be best
stated in a decision of 1883, Article 4, of Annual Meet-
ing Minutes : " All queries sent to Annual Meeting for
decision shall in all cases be decided according to the
Scriptures, where there is any direct ' thus saith the
Lord ' applying to the question, and all questions to which
there is no express Scripture applying, shall be decided
according to the spirit and meaning of the Scripture, and
that decision shall be the rule of all the churches for such
cases as the decisions cover, and all members who will
hinder or oppose such decision shall be held as not hear-
ing the church, and shall be dealt with accordingly. The
decision shall not be so construed as to prevent the An-
nual Meeting from giving advice when it deems it proper
to do so, and that given as advice shall be so entered up-
on the minutes."
District Meetings. During the last forty years the
District Meeting has come to occupy an important place
in the work of the church. In 1856 Annual Meeting gave
its approval " for forming Districts of five, six or more
adjoining churches for the purpose of meeting jointly at
least once a year, settling difficulties, etc., and thus les-
sening the business of our General Yearly Meeting."
During the next ten years many such Districts were
formed. In 1866 Annual Meeting laid down the princi-
ple and constitution on which Districts should organize
CHURCH POLITY 201
We recommend that each State form itself into convenient
District Meetings. These meetings shall be formed by one
or two representatives from each organized church, and we
recommend that each church be represented in the District
Meeting, either by representatives or by letter. We think it
best to hold these meetings in simplicity, and as much like
the common council meetings are held, as possible. A record
of the District Meetings may be kept, but not published.
They should endeavor to settle all questions of a local char-
acter. But those of a general character, or those that con-
cern the Brotherhood in general, should be taken to the
Annual Meeting. And all questions that cannot be settled
at the District Meetings should be taken to the Annual
Meeting. In taking questions from the District to the
Annual Meetings, they should be correctly and carefully
formed, and all queries from District Meetings should be
accompanied with an answer. But in case those meetings
cannot agree upon any questions, then they shall be referred
to the Standing Committee, and this shall form answers to
the questions before they be read before the General Coun-
cil. And it is considered very desirable, and indeed neces-
sary, that in all cases in answering questions, both in Dis-
trict and Annual Meetings, some Scripture authority or
reason be given for the decision, though it should be done
as briefly as possible.
No business can come before District Meeting until it has
passed through the church in which it originated. It is un-
derstood that any member falling under the counsel of the
church, and being dissatisfied with the decision, may appeal
to the Annual Meeting by presenting a petition, signed by a
number of members of the church. Nothing in this arrange-
ment shall be so construed as to prevent any member from
presenting himself before the Standing Committee of the
Annual Meeting, to offer anything that cannot be brought
before it in the manner prescribed, and the Committee shall
hear his case and dispose of it according to its judgment.
There have been only a few changes in this constitu-
tion since it was adopted. In 1876 privilege was given
to have the minutes of these meetings published. In 1912
202 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
the following change was made in congregational repre-
sentation at District Meetings : " Each church of two
hundred members or less should be represented at the
District Meeting by two delegates. Churches of over
two hundred members may have an extra delegate for
each additional two hundred members or fraction thereof.
The delegates thus chosen shall constitute the voting
power of the District Meeting."
There are at present in the United States forty-seven
State Districts, and five in foreign countries : one each in
Denmark, Sweden, and China, and two in India. In the
United States these Districts vary greatly in the number
of their membership, ranging in 1916 from 232 to 6,338.
The amount and character of the work at these meetings
vary greatly, depending largely on the size of the mem-
bership, the environment of the churches and the force
of the leaders. In the organization of these Districts it
was hoped that most difficulties would be settled here and
need not go to the Annual Meeting. This has largely
been accomplished. But the District Meetings have also
become great centers of influence in creating sentiment
for Sunday-schools, missions, education, relief work, etc.
Many of these District Meetings have more business and
activities than did the Annual Meeting of a generation
ago. They have their own Mission Boards, Ministerial
Boards, Sunday-school Boards and committees on educa-
tion, child rescue work, etc. By the votes of the dele-
gates, one or two elders residing within the District are
elected to represent the District on the Standing Com-
mittee at Annual Meeting for one year.
Elders' Meetings. In the State Districts there has
developed an organization of large power and influence
in the Brotherhood. In most Districts the elders have an
CHURCH POLITY 203
organization of their own. To these Elders' Meetings
have been given certain duties and privileges, both by the
Annual Meeting and by some of the Districts. In 1890
Annual Meeting decided that no minister could be or-
dained to the eldership unless approved by the majority
of the elders in the Elders' Meeting. Before 1914 some
of these Elders' Meetings acted as a Standing Commit-
tee for their District Meetings. In some Districts the
Elders' Meeting nominates persons to fill all vacancies on
District boards and committees. But the greatest duty
of the elders in these meetings should be to obey the ad-
vice of the Apostle Paul to the elders at Ephesus : " Take
heed, therefore, unto yourselves and to all the flock, over
which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed
the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own
blood" (Acts 20: 28).
Local Congregations. The smallest unit in church
government is the local congregation. It certainly is the
most important, for to the local congregation and its
official body is the duty given of carrying into effect the
principles and work of the church. With the local or-
ganization most of the activity of the members has to do.
It receives them into church membership. It either pro-
vides an environment in which they may grow spiritually,
or it neglects this and leaves them to care for themselves.
The local organization calls men to the ministry, elects
deacons and selects the leaders for the Sunday-school,
Christian Workers' and other activities. The privilege
of membership is in the hands of the local body. It may
discipline its members and its officers and even expel
them altogether from membership, although in case of
discipline or expulsion, the defendant may appeal either
to District Meeting or to Annual Meeting.
204 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
In theory, and for the most part in practice, the gov-
ernment of the local church is democratic. Each mem-
ber may speak and vote on any matter before the church.
The local body, however, must work in harmony with
the general principles and practices of the church ; other-
wise it may be disciplined or even disorganized by the
District or Annual Meeting. But these meetings, as we
have seen, are of a republican form of government,
composed of representatives elected directly by the local
Council meetings are held in the local congregations at
such regular times as the church may decide. At these
meetings officials are elected and the general business of
the church transacted. This meeting is usually moder-
ated by the presiding elder, though in his absence a min-
ister may preside. In cases of election of ministers, or
in the trial and discipline of a church officer, the adjoin-
ing elders are generally called in to preside. In case of
the congregation as a whole being out of order, the ad-
joining elders may come in and take charge. The con-
gregations usually elect an elder for one or more years,
though in many churches, in the past, the oldest of the
elders took the lead. In some places two local elders may
have the oversight jointly.
The official body of each congregation is composed of
the ordained elders, ministers and deacons. The official
council usually convenes before the public council meet-
ings to consider any questions of special importance.
However, the amount of work that the official council
does and the importance of the work depends very much
upon the presiding elder.
Individual Government. Every member of the
Church of the Brethren on entering the church pledges
CHURCH POLITY 205
himself to do all in his power to live in peace and har-
mony with his brethren. To this end Matt. 18: 15-17 is
laid down as a basis of this conduct: " Moreover if thy
brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his
fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee,
thou hast gained thy brother.
" But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one
or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses
every word may be esablished.
" And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the
church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be
unto thee as a heathen man and a publican."
This, together with an observation of the Golden Rule
(Matt. 7 : 12), should settle all difficulties : " Therefore al!
things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you,
do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the
Church Visits. The Church of the Brethren aims to
look after its membership. In doing this certain visits
Where a pastor is employed it is both his privilege and
duty to keep in touch with his membership by as frequent
visits as are needed and as he may have the time. Con-
ference has advised that in all congregations the presid-
ing elder or pastor should make visits at least once a year
to each family in the church.
When members become subjects for discipline, special
visits are paid to them. These were formerly paid al-
most wholly by the deacons, though tactful elders would
often send that brother or sister who would have the most
influence on the erring one. When a decision of the
church is to be announced, it is both customary and safe
for official brethren to do it.
206 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Each year there is a general visit paid to all the mem-
bers, usually within a few days. This visit is commonly
made just before the annual love-feast. Should any diffi-
culties among the membership occur or any evils be dis-
covered, these can be looked after at the next council, so
that the church can be in the best possible condition for
the communion. It is usually made by the deacons,
though ministers and the laity may be asked to serve.
These visits are often the source of many blessings to the
members, especially where a prayer is offered and Chris-
tian fellowship abounds. Too frequently the visit be-
comes a mere formal matter of asking the following
1. Are you still in the faith of the Gospel, as you de-
clared when you were baptized?
2. Are you, as far as you know, in peace and union
with the church?
3. Will you still labor with the Brethren for an in-
crease of holiness, both in yourself and others?
Deacons are elected by vote of the members of the
local congregations. They are installed into their office
after promising to serve the church faithfully. Among
the many duties that may be assigned to them are looking
after the poor and sick, paying the annual visit, making
preparations for the love-feasts and assisting the minis-
try in any way they can. Formerly they very commonly
led in prayer, read the opening scripture at the regular
preaching service and bore testimony to what the minis-
ter might have said. Much of the success of a congrega-
tion depends upon a faithful, wide-awake and well or-
ganized body of deacons. (See A. M. Minutes, 1919.)
The Ministry. The Annual Meeting Minutes have
many decisions and regulations concerning the work of
CHURCH POLITY 207
the ministry and eldership. Most all of these minutes
have now been superseded by the Annual Meeting of 1917
adopting in full a report presented by a committee which
had been studying the question for several years :
REPORT OF COMMITTEE, 1917
To the Annual Conference of 1917 — Greeting:
After an arduous and prayerful consideration of the
weighty subject of the ministry, under five heads, according
to the instruction given in 1912, with the view of covering
all that is necessary to obtain and perpetuate a faithful and
spiritual ministry, your committee respectfully submits the
1. The churches shall " pray the Lord of the harvest to
send forth laborers into his harvest" (Matt. 9: 38), and shall
study carefully their membership, with the view of finding
suitable young men for the ministry. Young people should
be encouraged to take part in Sunday-school, Christian
Workers' meetings and other church activities, and as suit-
able young men for the ministry appear elections shall be
held without delay.
2. Election by the majority vote is desirable, and prayer
and labor shall be freely given to make it possible. After
scriptures setting forth the qualifications of the ministry
have been read and explained and earnest prayer has been
made for enlightenment and guidance the vote of the church
shall be taken. If one receives a majority of all the votes
cast, he shall be declared elected. If no one receives a
majority vote, at the judgment of the election board and the
elder in charge, the one receiving the highest number of
votes may be declared elected; or the facts may be reported
to the church without giving names, followed by fervent
prayer for spiritual guidance; also further teaching, if
thought necessary, and the vote of the church shall be taken
again, and if one does not receive a majority vote, again an-
other season of prayer may be engaged in, and another vote
taken. This may be repeated once or twice, and if one does
not receive a majority vote, and it seems not good to the
208 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
election board and the elder in charge to declare an elec-
tion with a plurality vote, the election may be declared off.
3. A young man who feels called of the Lord to the minis-
try, but who has not been chosen, may speak freely to his
elder or one of the ministers on the subject, also the Minis-
terial Board, hereinafter provided, and after special prayer
with him and an examination of his faith, the elder may
submit the matter to the church for consideration, may set
him apart as a minister, by the common charge, if two-
thirds of the members in council favor it. This action shall
be considered as an election.
4. Ministers when installed, should agree to serve the
church faithfully, and where most needed.
1. Moral and Spiritual: 1 Tim. 3: 1-7; 1: 18-20; 2 Tim.
2: 2-4; Titus 1: 5-9. Above all, the minister should be spirit-
ual; sound in faith and doctrines of the New Testament —
such as the inspiration of the Scripture and Divinity of Jesus
Christ, the atonement, regeneration, the condition of par-
don, New Testament ordinances, etc. He should not be
greedy of filthy lucre, not worldly-minded; but on the other
hand he shall have the mind of Christ, and withal willing to
suffer hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2. Mental and Educational: 1 Tim. 3: 2; 2 Tim. 2: 15;
3: 13-17. The scriptures cited exhort every minister to make
the preparation that will insure an efficiency approved of
God. While we do not fix a standard of educational qualifi-
cations, we do encourage college and Bible training: when
necessary, the church should assist in obtaining it. To those
elected to the ministry, who can not reasonably acquire said
training, we recommend a Home Study Course arranged by
the Educational Board, the books to be secured through the
Gish Committee. Those ministers who can not avail them-
selves of these advantages, but who are rendering faithful
service notwithstanding, are hereby encouraged to continue
their faithful labors, and the church should give them her
CHURCH POLITY 209
1. There shall be two degrees in the ministry, to be known
as ministers and elders. All ministers who, at the time of
the adoption of this report, are serving in the first and sec-
ond degrees, shall be designated as ministers.
2. The duties of the minister are to preach the Word, to
administer baptism, to serve the communion in the absence
of an elder or at his request; to solemnize marriage — in
brief, to assist the elder faithfully in the general work of
the ministry (Eph. 4: 11, 12; 2 Tim. 4: 1-5).
3. The duties of the elder, in addition to the foregoing
duties of the minister, are to feed the flock, to preside over
council meetings, especially when official members are on
trial, to anoint the sick, to have the oversight and general
management of the church ; training the young ministers in
his charge and apportioning the work among them accord-
ing to their experience and ability — in brief, to be a faith-
ful shepherd to the flock, guarding their souls as one who
must give an account and be willing to serve in any capacity
authorized by the church (Acts 20: 28; 1 Tim. 5: 17; Titus 1:
S; James 5: 14).
4. When the minister proves himself faithful and efficient
in his office, he shall be ordained elder; and when ordained
he shall pledge himself to live and labor in harmony with
the accepted standards of the church in faith, doctrine, and
practice (1 Tim. 5: 22; Titus 1: 5; 1 Peter 5: 3).
5. The duties of the minister to the church and in general,
also the duties of the church to the minister, shall be clearly
set forth in a special sermon at the time of installation and
1. Each church shall, under a system worked out of itself,
in the light of the local conditions, distribute the labor of
its ministers over the territory as much as possible.
2. The ministers of each State District shall cooperate
with said Ministerial Boards and the District Mission
Boards in working the territory of the District to the best
210 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
3. The ministers of the Brotherhood shall cooperate with
said Ministerial Boards, the District Mission Boards, and
the General Mission Board in covering the world field as
much as possible.
4. When a minister decides to change location, he should
confer with said Ministerial Board as to where his service
1. The ministry should be encouraged in the zealous
preaching of the Word, faithfulness to duty and the spirit
of sacrifice for the salvation of souls, as manifested by Jesus
and the apostles.
2. Ministers who are financially able should be encouraged
to preach the Gospel without money and without price, as
it has been the practice of the Brethren from the beginning.
3. The church should share financially in the burdens of
the ministry, especially with those who are poor in this
world's goods, that more and better work may be done, and
that more of the ministers may give themselves wholly to
the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4; 1 Cor. 9; 1 Tim.
4. Churches that feel the need of pastors, giving all their
time, are at liberty to secure them, giving them a reason-
able support, where it can be done with the approval of
the majority of the members in council.
5. Churches should elect their presiding elders at least
once in three years.
6. Elders and pastors should give their churches at least
three months' notice of the severance of their relations, and
churches desiring a change of pastors should give them the
7. The District Meeting of each State District shall ap-
point a District Ministerial Board of three able, active eld-
ers, whose term of office shall be three years, except those
first appointed, one of whom shall serve one year, one two
years, and one three years, whose duty it shall be :
(1) To make a prayerful study of the conditions of the
churches and the territory of the Districts.
CHURCH POLITY 211
(2) To inspire the churches, with their officials, to deeper
consecration, greater faithfulness, and sacrifice for the
(3) To encourage the election of ministers, as suitable
young men develop; and if they are not called to conduct
such elections and the ordination of elders, they should be
represented, if practicable, at such times and places by at
least one of their number.
(4) To keep in touch with suitable young men for the
ministry and inspire their interest in the work of the church.
(3) To cooperate with churches in securing elders and
pastors, and in severing these relations; also with elders,
ministers and pastors in changing location. The Ministerial
Eoards, however, shall not be intrusive, acting with arbi-
trary authority; they shall be helpful.
(6) To keep a record of the churches that desire elders
and pastors, and also the names of elders, ministers, and
pastors who desire change of location and work.
(7) To cooperate with the Ministerial Boards and the
District Mission Boards in securing workers to cover the
Districts and also with the General Mission. Board in secur-
ing workers for the world field.
(8) To make annual reports to their respective District
Meetings of the work done and the needs of the Districts,
with such recommendations as seem good.
Committee : H. C. Early, T. T. Myers, Edward Frantz,
J. W. Lear, Otho Winger.
References and Readings
Church Polity. I. D. Parker, in Two Centuries, chapter 6.
Annual Meeting Minutes.
Christian Life and Worship
The Church of the Brethren was organized as a protest
against two conditions that existed in the state churches
in Germany. Worship had become a mere matter of
form. The life and conduct of Christian men and women
were far below the ideals set by the Master. In the his-
tory of the Church of the Brethren simplicity and spirit-
uality in worship, purity and uprightness in living have
Peace. The earliest Annual Meeting minutes on
record deal with the subject of noniresistance. The
Brethren have always been a peace-loving people. They
have been a nonresistant people, choosing rather to suffer
wrongs than, by physical force, to oppose them. They
have always opposed war, and as a church have refused
any active, voluntary participation therein. On all ques-
tions consistent with their religious convictions they have
given loyal support to the government, but cannot permit
their members to learn the art of war. For this reason
they have often suffered persecutions, but for the most
part the members have lived true to this peace principle.
In the Civil War many Brethren were persecuted, both
in the North and in the South. While it is true that they
were not found in the armies of the North, it is equally
true that they were not found in the armies of the South.
No true member of the Church of the Brethren ever
raised his hand in rebellion against his country. During
214 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
the great World War, the church, while holding firm to
the principle, has tried to bear its part in the peaceful
work of relief and reconstruction. Its attitude may be
best expressed by a paragraph from the general resolu-
tions passed at the Conference of 1918:
" We appreciate the generous purpose of our Govern-
ment in providing noncombatant service for our Brethren
called to the colors, and pray that the President and his
advisers may be divinely guided through these crises into
the paths of righteousness. We renew our pledge of
loyalty and urge our people to a liberal financial support
of those organizations that are engaged in furthering the
moral and religious welfare of the men in camp and in
service, the alleviation of suffering, and the reconstruc-
tion of devastated lands. We urge our membership to
produce and conserve useful products, but not to hoard
and enrich themselves in these days of extravagance and
Since 1912 the Conference has maintained a Peace
Committee. Through this committee the church has co-
operated with Peace Associations and has sought to pro-
mote the spirit of peace and good-will among men. The
following brethren have served on this committee: W. J.
Swigart, J. K. Miller, Daniel Hays, C. A. Wright, Jacob
Funk and A. C. Wieand.
Relations to Government. The early church always
tried to keep free from entanglement with affairs of the
government. This was practically a corollary of their
nonresistant principles. Members have always been
urged to be loyal to governments, as far as consistent
with their religious convictions, but to vote and to hold
office were considered as compromising these principles
(A. M. Minutes 1825, 1839, 1866). But the church did
CHRISTIAN LIFE AND WORSHIP 21S
not make this a test of fellowship. Of late years the
Brethren have been much more active in voting and
officeholding. The settlement of great moral questions
at the polls has urged them to be more active. Voting
has become almost general and officeholding quite com-
The Brethren have had very little to do with law. Its
rules rigidly prohibit one member from suing another
(1 Cor. 6:1-7). A member is not allowed to go to law
with an outsider without first consulting and obtaining
the consent of the church. The peace and nonresistant
principles of the church would suggest that Brethren
suffer wrong rather than be too ready to rush to law to
seek justice. Very few of the Brethren have ever entered
the legal profession.
Slavery. On the question of slavery the Brethren
took advanced grounds. In 1797 the Annual Meeting
decided that no brother or sister could own slaves. Slave-
holders who might apply for membership were given in-
structions how to emancipate their slaves. Through all
the long debates on slavery the Brethren never wavered
from their decision ; neither was there anjf division in the
church because of it. This issue has long been a dead
one, but it is a matter of history that the Church of the
Brethren was free from the guilt of this horrible sin.
And those who may feel that the Brethren did not do
their duty in the war, should also remember that if all
Christian denominations had taken the position that the
Brethren took on slavery, there would have been no war.
References: A History of the Brethren in Virginia, by
D. H. Zigler, chapter 5 ; The Olive Branch of Peace, by
Daniel Hays and S. F. Sanger.
216 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Temperance. The church has always taken an ad-
vanced position on this question. In the days when dis-
tilleries were common, Brethren were not allowed to own
them. They were absolutely forbidden to sell strong
drink or to engage in any work connected with the liquor
business (A. M. Minutes 1781, 1832, 1836, 1846). From
time to time the Conference has reaffirmed its position,
and has sought to keep its membership pure of this great
evil. Since 1908 the church has been doing positive work,
largely directed by a General Temperance Committee of
three members. Practically every State District has its
District Temperance Committee, and many local congre-
gations have their local temperance committees. The
General Committee publishes a bulletin from time to
time. Temperance programs are given in local congrega-
tions and at District and Annual Meetings. The whole
church has been enlisted in an active movement to bring
about total prohibition of this evil.
The position of the church has always been against the
use of tobacco. The Conference of 1822 declared that
the Annual Meeting had always been against this " shame-
fully bad habit." While not making the matter a test of
fellowship, the Conference has discouraged the use of
tobacco in every way possible. Delegates to District or
Annual Meeting must be free from either using or raising
it. Ministers, on being installed, if they use it, must
promise to give up its use and teach against it. Yet in
spite of this, the lust for gain in raising it and the lust for
the taste in using it have caused many members to remain
disloyal to the councils of the church.
Members who have served terms on the Temperance
Committee since 1908 are as follows: P. J. Blough, J. W.
Lear, J. A. Dove, Wm. Howe, J. C. Miller, E. E. John,
CHRISTIAN LIFE AND WORSHIP 217
D. D. Culler, J. J. John, A. J. Culler. P. J. Blough has
served since the first appointment of the committee.
Dress. The Church of the Brethren has always
claimed to be a nonworldly people. It has always de-
nounced the vanity and pride of the world. So it is not
any wonder that the church should have spent so much
effort in trying to keep its membership clear of the evils
of fashionable dressing. There was no established form
of dress in the church during the first century of its exist-
ence. Neither was conformity to an established order
made a test of fellowship. But in order to enforce plain
dressing, the Conference gradually prescribed certain
forms of dress. This troublesome question was one of
the main causes of the division in the early eighties.
Thirty years later it really caused some very strained
relations. The Conference of 1911 adopted the report of
a committee that had been making a careful study of the
question. This decision, while stating the general princi-
ple and practice of the church, was elastic enough in its
interpretation to permit the churches in different sections,
and with different customs, to work together, although
the church has become somewhat congregational in the
application of this rule. The report as amended down
to 1917 will best serve to give an idea of the position of
the church. The original report was framed by the fol-
lowing committee: H. C. Early, John Heckman, Galen
B. Royer, C. D. Bonsack and J. W. Lear.
I. We examined prayerfully the scriptural grounds of
Christian attire, and found that Jesus and the apostles
taught modesty and simplicity of life and modesty in dress
The scriptures bearing on the subject of dress and adorn-
ment are of several classes:
218 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
First. Jesus condemned anxious thought for raiment
(Matt. 6: 25-33; Luke 12: 22-31).
Second. The direct teachings, such as 1 Tim. 2: 9, 10;
1 Peter 3: 3-5.
Third. Teachings on nonconformity to the world in gen-
eral, and that apply to dress on general principles, such as
Romans 12: 1, 2; 1 Cor. 10: 31; 1 Peter 1: 14-15; 1 John
II. Investigation shows that the early church fathers and
our own church fathers taught strongly and uniformly
against pride and superfluity in dress, and constantly in
favor of gospel plainness.
III. The Minutes of Conference show that the Church of
the Brethren has, throughout her entire history, stood firmly
against the fashions of the age, and extravagance in all
manner of living, and on the other hand has taught faith-
fully the principles of simplicity of life and personal ap-
pearance. And, furthermore, the Conference has, from time
to time, adopted means and methods with the view of main-
taining gospel simplicity in dress in the church body.
Now, since the Gospel teaches plain and modest dress, and
since this is taught in the form of an obligation, without
rules and methods of application further than to exclude
plaiting of hair, the wearing of gold, pearls and costly rai-
ment, and believing that a form that agrees with the spirit
of the teaching is helpful in maintaining the principles of
plainness and simplicity in dress and adornment in the
general church body, "it seemed good to us" to submit the
1. That the brethren wear plain clothing. That the coat
with the standing collar be worn, especially by the ministers
2. That the brethren wear their hair and beard in a plain
and sanitary manner. That the moustache alone is for-
3. That the sisters attire themselves in plainly-made gar-
ments, free from ornaments and unnecessary appendages.
That plain bonnets and hoods be the headdress, and the
hair be worn in a becoming Christian manner.
CHRISTIAN LIFE AND WORSHIP 219
4. That the veil be worn in time of prayer and prophesy-
ing (1 Cor. 11: 1-16, R. V.). The plain cap is regarded as
meeting the requirements of scriptural teaching on the sub-
5. That gold for ornament and jewelry, of all kinds, shall
not be worn.
6. That no brother be installed into office as minister or
deacon who will not pledge himself to observe and teach
the order of dress.
7. That no brother or sister serve as delegate to District
or Annual Meeting, nor be appointed on committees to en-
force discipline, who does not observe the order of dress.
8. That it be the duty of the official body of the church, to
teach faithfully and intelligently the simple, Christian life
in dress; and bishops, who are the shepherds of the
churches, are required to teach and to see that the simple
life in general is taught and observed in their respective
9. That those who do not fully conform to the methods
herein set forth, but who manifest no inclination to follow
the unbecoming fashions, and whose life and conduct is be-
coming a follower of Christ, be dealt with in love and for-
bearance ; and that every effort be made to save all to the
church until they see the beauty of making a larger sacrifice
for Christ and the church. But if, after every effort has
been made, they, in an arbitrary spirit, refuse to conform to
said methods, and follow the foolish fashions of the world,
they shall be dealt with as disorderly members ; and in deal-
ing with such cases, both the salvation of souls and the
purity of the church should be kept in view.
10. That all are urged and implored, in the bonds of
brotherly love and Christian fellowship, to teach and exem-
plify the order of the church in dress as a suitable expres-
sion of " the hidden man of the heart, in the incorruptible
apparel of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of
God of great price."
11. That upon the final adoption of this report, it shall
supersede all else in the Minutes on the subject of dress.
Supplementary interpretation: The letter of the dress
decision of 1911, does not forbid the wearing of the necktie,
220 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
but we urgently advise our brethren to refrain from wear-
ing neckties and other unnecessary articles of adornment.
In 1914 the Conference appointed a Dress Reform
Committee. The purpose of the committee is to do posi-
tive, constructive teaching against worldliness in dress.
Special literature has been issued, special speakers have
made tours of the churches giving lectures, and special
programs have been given at the Annual Conferences.
In this positive way the church is trying to gain what it
was formerly unable to get satisfactorily by negative
The following brethren and sisters have served on this
committee : S. N. McCann, Florence Myers, E. M. Stude-
baker, Mary Polk Ellenberger, Bertha Neher, Eva
Trostle, Lydia E. Taylor, J. J. John.
Oaths. The Church of the Brethren, in common
with all leading churches, teaches against profanity. But
the Brethren go further. They do not believe in the civil
oath that is so commonly used, believing that the words
of the Master in Matt. 5 : 33-37 positively forbid it. So,
where legal forms usually ask for the oath, the Brethren
simply affirm. The national laws and legal forms have
provided that this may be done.
The affirmation is considered sufficient among a truth-
loving people. The Brethren have generally been noted
for their truthfulness and their honor for their word. It
was formerly said that " a brother's word was as good as
his bond." It is a matter of regret that the betrayal of
this trust on the part of many has caused the respect for
all to suffer.
Secret Societies. The Brethren have always op-
posed its members joining any secret, oath-bound society.
The general practice of the church has always been to
CHRISTIAN LIFE AND WORSHIP 221
make this a test of fellowship. (See A. M. Minutes,
1828, 1847, 1855, etc.) Applicants for church member-
ship are asked to sever any connection they may have
with any such organizations. In this way the church and
its members have avoided the inroads of secret societies
that claim so much attention and support. It has kept the
members from going after many transient movements
promoted by such societies. A new form of this problem
has been presented in the modern labor unions. Many
brethren having gone to the city to find work have been
brought face to face with this question. The Conference
of 1915 passed the following decision:
" While this Conference cannot sanction membership
in any of the labor unions, yet we do not see our way
clear to wholly forbid a necessary affiliation of members
with labor unions, relief associations, when by so doing
they violate no gospel principle."
Business Relations. The church insists upon its
members dealing right in all business relations. Many of
the early minutes have to do with applying the principles
of honesty to business transactions. Members who be-
came involved in debt so they could not pay were to have
their cases investigated (A. M., 1832, 1862). Brethren
were not allowed to assign their property to others or to
take advantage of the bankrupt law and thereby defraud
their creditors (A. M., 1822 and 1859). Charging more
than lawful interest for money loaned has always been
denounced (A. M., 1845, 1872). Even the selling of
notes was not approved except by consent of the debtor
(A. M., 1817). It was formerly quite common for the
church to pay the debts of one of the worthy members,
especially when such was incurred through sickness or
222 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
When the membership was largely engaged in farming
there were fewer betrayals of the confidence placed in
brethren than of late, since many have entered modern
business pursuits, where temptations to crooked dealing
are more often found.
Marriage. The church has endeavored to maintain
purity of life and of the marriage relation. Fornication
and adultery have always been looked upon as grave sins,
and sufficient grounds to cause any member to forfeit his
The general practice of the church for many years was
rigidly to exclude any one from membership who had two
living companions. The position was that if either hus-
band or wife departs from the other, let them remain un-
married (1 Cor. 7: 11). But others interpreted Matt.
5: 32 and 19: 9 as allowing one cause for divorce that
would permit the innocent party to remarry and yet be
admitted into the church ; or in case of a member, to re-
tain membership. This view finally prevailed in the deci-
sion of 1898: "We therefore decide that no divorced
person, having married again while a former companion
is living, can be received into the church unless it can be
clearly shown that said companion was put away because
In the case of persons committing fornication the for-
mer practice was expulsion from the church, and even
avoidance for a while by the membership before the
guilty party could be reinstated. In 1915 Conference de-
cided that " if the penitence and confession [of the guilty
party] are satisfactory to the church, such may be re-
tained without first relieving them of membership."
The Church of the Brethren is wholly in sympathy
with the purity reform movement. The Conference of
CHRISTIAN LIFE AND WORSHIP 223
1919 made it the duty of the Temperance Committee to
encourage teaching along these lines and to do all possi-
ble to promote the movement for greater purity in per-
sonal life and conduct.
Worldly Amusements. The Brethren have been
noted for their holding aloof from participation in enter-
tainments or gatherings for worldly pleasure and amuse-
ment. Shows, fairs, theaters, games and the like have
been looked upon with suspicion, and members would
hardly want or dare to attend. But of recent years the
educational and farm-exhibit features of some of these
have caused some liberty to be given those who desire
to attend, especially when they can do so without violat-
ing gospel principles.
The Aged and Orphans. The church has always held
it a duty to care for her poor and dependent. The colo-
nial church at Germantown had its " Widows' Home."
In 1812 the Conference decided that the church should
provide for poor widows and their children. In 1870 the
Conference gave encouragement to such State Districts
as would like to build homes for the aged and orphans.
The child rescue work, as a District movement, began in
Middle Indiana in 1889. This movement grew rapidly
until we had the following report at the Conference of
" We have in our Brotherhood fourteen Homes, estab-
lished and caring for the aged and orphans, representing
about twenty State Districts, caring for between four and
five hundred aged and orphans. These Homes represent
a property value of about $155,000 and about 1,500 acres
of land. Each Home is controlled and managed by a
Board of Trustees."
224 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
The list of such homes, as given in the Yearbook of
Old Folks' Home, Carlisle, Pa.
Morrison Cove Home, Martinsburg, Pa.
Brethren's Home, Neflsville, Pa.
Brethren's Home, Greenville, Ohio.
Old People's Home, Fostoria, Ohio.
Old People's and Orphans' Home, Mexico, Ind.
Aged Persons' Home and Orphans' Home, Middletown, Ind.
Old People's and Orphans' Home, Mt. Morris, 111.
The Home, Girard, 111.
Old Folks' Home, Darlow, Kans.
Fahrney Memorial Home at San Mar, near Mapleville, Md.
Old Folks' Home and Orphans' Home, Timberville, Va.
Old People's Home, Empire, Calif.
Since 1909 the Conference has perpetuated a Child
Rescue Committee. The work of this committee was to
" foster sentiment, assist State Districts to organize and
to give the work of rescuing children as much influence
as they possibly could." Estimates are that more than
two thousand children have passed through church or-
ganizations and been placed in good homes.
The present committee is composed of Frank Fisher,
Mexico, Ind., P. S. Thomas, Harrisonburg, Va., and
E. E. John, McPherson, Kans.
The Sisters' Aid Society is an organization recog-
nized by Annual Meeting. It had its beginning in a local
society organized in the home of Sister H. B. Brum-
baugh, Huntingdon, Pa., September 22, 1885. Confer-
ence that year granted permission to organize such socie-
ties. The growth, however, was slow for many years.
Since 1909 these societies have held an annual meeting
at the Conference. They have an organization of their
own. The growth in recent years has been rapid. Hun-
CHRISTIAN LIFE AND WORSHIP 225
dreds of societies have been organized. The annual
amount of money received has grown to be a large sum.
With this money, and by personal help, the sisters of the
church have been a great blessing to the poor, the needy
and to many charitable movements. They have a great
monument to their efforts in the building and equipment
of the Mary N. Quinter hospital at Bulsar, India. They
are planning to do their part in the great forward move-
ment of the church by pledging $24,000 for missions in
the next three years.
This movement has not only been a great blessing to
others, but a great blessing to the sisters themselves. It
has done much to cause their recognition as a great force
in the church. The sisters merit this recognition. The
influence of their helpful, loving service, as well as their
voice in our church councils, will be more and more felt
in the years to come.
The Christian Workers is an organization designed
to give practical work for the young people of the church.
Local organizations have been at work for more than
twenty years. The direction of this has been in the
hands of the General Sunday School Board. The work
of these societies has largely consisted of Sunday even-
ing programs, with topics for special study and discus-
sion. Both old and young have taken part in these meet-
ings. These programs have been helpful in developing
the thinking and speaking ability of the young people.
But many of these organizations have not prospered as
they should. It has been the conviction of many that
there has been too much talking and not enough practical
Christian work. The Conference of 1919 placed the
direction of the Christian Workers in the hands of a
226 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
special board, with the hope that a greater work may be
The young people have become a great power in the
church. They should have training, not only in speak-
ing in public, but in doing practical Christian work.
Public Worship has always been emphasized by the
Brethren. They have believed the Master's words,
" Where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them." They have longed for
that fellowship with one another and with their Lord.
Though the members were widely scattered, as in pioneer
days, the public service was not forgotten. These serv-
ices have always been marked for their simplicity and
their lack of formality. From the log cabin of the pio-
neer, where only the few were assembled, to the largest
gatherings of the Annual Conference, the hour of prayer
and praise has been a welcome one.
Sunday, or the first day of the week, is held as the
true Christian Sabbath (Acts 20: 7; John 20: 19). The
Brethren have endeavored to keep the day sacred. In
former days when members were scattered, many Sun-
days would pass without a religious service. There grew
up the custom of Sunday visiting, which was not always
in keeping with the spirit and sacredness of the day. But
with the coming of the Sunday-school and Christian
Workers' Meetings, the house of God, each Lord's Day,
is hallowed by the worship of believers.
Prayer. Family prayer and worship were more
common at one time than now. Prayer meetings were
approved in 1859, though the Brethren have been a little
slow in some places to hold them. In the public service
prayer has an important place. The usual position in
prayer is to kneel. Where there is no room, or where
CHRISTIAN LIFE AND WORSHIP 227
the ground does not permit kneeling, standing during
prayer is permitted. Standing in prayer is the common
custom at love-feasts. All public services have an open-
ing and a closing prayer. Each prayer is usually followed
by the Lord's prayer, though it is now omitted more fre-
quently than formerly. It is becoming more common
now to pray as the closing benediction the words of
2 Cor. 13:14.
The Church of the Brethren places emphasis upon
Paul's instructions concerning prayer in 1 Cor. 11: 3-15.
" Here he says that while praying or prophesying the
women should have their heads covered, and the men
should appear before the Lord uncovered. In the orig-
inal, instead of covering, we have ' veil.' As it applies to
the sisters, Paul's language clearly enjoins the covering
as a duty, and it seems that in the early churches no sister
presumed to engage in prayer or prophesying with the
head unveiled." — New Testament Doctrines, p. 143.
" The plain cap is regarded as meeting the requirements
of scriptural teaching on the subject." Dress decision of
1911, Sec. 3, paragraph 4.
Singing has always formed an important part of the
public worship of the Brethren. But for the most part it
is congregational singing without the use of the instru-
ment. The organ and piano have been introduced in
some places, but Conference has refused to sanction their
use. The Brethren have attracted much attention in
places because of their ability in song. Especially is this
true at the Annual Conference, where congregational
singing forms an important part of every program. In
many churches, however, the singing is far below what
it ought to be. The Conference, in adopting a report of
228 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
a special committee in 1917, urges the local congregations
and the Brethren's colleges to do all they can to improve
the congregational singing.
Preaching. The character of the preaching varies
greatly and depends entirely upon the spiritual power and
intellectual ability of the messenger. Frequently the ser-
mon is little more than exhortation. But the church has
produced some strong sermonizers. Even in former
days, before schools and colleges were common, the
Brethren had some who were the peers of any ministers
of their day. What they lacked in academic learning and
oratorical polish, they made up by their earnest zeal and
familiarity with the Word of God. Of late years more
attention is being paid to the principles and rules of
Meetinghouses. The Brethren were somewhat
slow in erecting houses of worship. The services in early
days were held in private homes. In many places some
brother, more able than the rest, would build a house so
that two or more rooms could be thrown together for
public service. The large barns of the farmers were used
in the summertime and especially for the love-feast occa-
sion. When meetinghouses were first built they were
very plain and without conveniences. It was unusual to
see a Brethren meetinghouse with a bell. Of late years
it is becoming quite common for these buildings to be re-
placed by those built to provide for Sunday-school, Chris-
tian Workers, Aid Societies, etc. But the church has al-
ways stood against opening their houses of worship for
festivals, church shows and worldly amusements.
The Love-Feast. The love-feasts of the Brethren
have had much influence upon the membership. They
have been important, both as seasons of worship and as
CHRISTIAN LIFE AND WORSHIP 229
feasts of Christian fellowship. Especially was this true
when the " all-day meetings " were held. It was common
for many ministers to be present, and sometimes this was
the occasion for the members to get acquainted with the
ablest preachers of the church. These stirring sermons,
together with the seasons of prayer and the commemora-
tion of the sacred ordinances of the church, left impres-
sions never to be forgotten.
But then there was a social value to these occasions. It
served as a get-together meeting for the members. Here
they could enjoy the intercourse of the very best side of
their social natures. It provided, in an early day, a place
for social fellowship that nothing else did. The social
meals together were of much social value. The event
was looked forward to with much joy by both children
and parents. And while the social side at times perhaps
predominated over the spiritual, it is a question whether
the church, in arranging the shorter love-feast exercises,
has not lost a great power that attracted men and women
to the house of God.
References and Readings
1. Higher Spiritual Life in the Church.
A. C. Wieand, in Two Centuries, chapter 7.
2. The Church and Great Moral Issues.
Daniel Hays, in Two Centuries, chapter 8.
3. New Testament Doctrines, J. H. Moore.
4. Brethren's Tracts and Pamphlets.
5. Annual Meeting Minutes.
Church Doctrines and Ordinances
The Church of the Brethren believes in the funda-
mental doctrines of the Christian faith as they are taught
in the Bible. In this respect it finds itself much in har-
mony with all orthodox, Christian denominations. But
the Brethren also accept, as essential, the New Testa-
ment church ordinances. In this respect it finds itself " a
peculiar people." On questions of the fundamental doc-
trines, the church has seldom expressed any decision,
leaving the Bible to be its own interpreter. The follow-
ing paragraphs on doctrine are not stated as representing
any Conference decision, but what the author believes
the position of the church to be. On questions of ordi-
nances, the Annual Meeting minutes in most cases make
the position of the church quite clear.
Doctrine of the Scriptures. " The ark of the cove-
nant, containing the commandments in the holy of holies,
may represent the heart of each believer in the new cove-
nant. It contains, also, the tables of the commandments
of his God, written not by the hand of man, but by the
Holy Ghost. This, therefore, stands in close connection
with the external writings in the New Testament. But
where a person says that the laws of God are in his heart,
and still wars against the commandments of the Son of
God and his apostles, of which the Scriptures testify, we
may safely believe him to be of a carnal mind, possessing
in his heart the spirit of error and falsehood." — Alexan-
232 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
" All queries sent to Annual Meeting for decision, shall,
in all cases, be decided according to the Scriptures where
there is any direct ' thus saith the Lord ' applying to the
question, and all questions to which there is no express
Scripture applying shall be decided according to the spirit
and meaning of the Scripture." — Article 4, 1883.
" The Brethren hold the Bible to be the inspired Word
of God, and accept the New Testament as their rule of
faith and practice. In the subtleties of speculative the-
ology the church takes but little interest. She is chiefly
concerned in giving willing and cheerful obedience to the
plain, simple commandments of Jesus Christ." — D. L.
" The Brethren lead in teaching the Authority and the
Unity and the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures. They
hold that the Bible is an inspired Revelation of God to
man, that it was given with authority and confirmed and
sealed by the death of the Son of God. It is held that
when God speaks it is final, that there is no appeal, that
he speaks with full understanding, as well as authority,
and that the only safe ground is to accept the Word of
God in all good faith and obey it. Also that the Scrip-
tures are a unit; they are the expression of truth; truth
is always in harmony with itself. Want of understand-
ing is the fruitful ground of scepticism and infidelity.
The Scriptures being a unit, what is taught by one of the
inspired writers is virtually taught by them all; they all
stand for the teachings of the Master. The repetition
of a command by the sacred writers, therefore, does not
increase its authority. To command a point once is
sufficient, and the obligations thereby imposed to obey are
the same as if it had been commanded a dozen times. It
is held also that the Bible is its own best commentary.
DOCTRINES AND ORDINANCES 233
One passage explains another, and the safest interpreta-
tion is to decide on the meaning of one passage in the
light of all other passages that speak on the subject.
Again, it is held that the New Testament is God's last
revelation to the world, and all expectation for further,
or ' new ' revelation must end in disappointment. The
New Testament is a sufficient revelation, a perfect law
of liberty, and whosoever adds to it will have added to
him the plagues therein described, and whosoever takes
from it will have taken from him his part in the kingdom
of God. He has spoken for the last time." — H. C. Early,
in Two Centuries.
God. There is a God who has revealed himself
to man in nature (Psa. 19: 1-6); in the conscience of
man (Rom. 2: 15) ; through his prophets (Heb. 1: 1) ;
and through his Son, Jesus Christ (Heb. 1: 2). This
God is a Personal Spirit (John 4: 24); self -existent
(John 5: 26) ; eternal (Psa. 90: 2) ; immutable (James
1 : 17) ; omnipotent (Matt. 19 : 26) ; omnipresent 2 Chron.
2: 16); omniscient (Rom. 11: 33). He is good (Psa.
25: 8-10) ; just (1 John 1:9); and merciful (Psa. 103:
17). He is the Creator (Gen. 1: 1), Preserver (Acts
17: 28) and the Sovereign (Acts 17: 24) of the universe.
God is holy (Isa. 6:3); God is love (1 John 4:8); and
he is worthy of all adoration (Rev. 4:8-11), love (Matt.
22: 37), and obedience (Acts 5: 29). In the Godhead
there are three Persons (Matt. 28: 19), but these three
are One (1 John 5:7).
Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Mark 1 : 1) ; the
Only Begotten of the Father (John 1 : 14) ; and is one
with the Father (John 10: 30). He has all of the divine
attributes: eternal (John 1:1), immutable, (Heb. 13: 8),
omnipotent (Matt. 28: 18), omniscient (John 2: 24, 25),
234 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
omnipresent (Matt. 18: 20). While having a perfect
divine nature, he was also perfectly human (Philpp.
2:7). He was conceived of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:
35), born of the Virgin Mary (Matt. 1 : 23-25), grew to
perfect Manhood (Luke 2: 52), and lived his life among
men (Heb. 2: 17-18). He was crucified, died and was
buried (Mark 15: 25, 37, 46). He rose from the dead
(1 Cor. 15: 3-4) ; was seen at different times for forty
days, for which there are many infallible proofs (Acts
1:3); then ascended on high (Acts 1:9); and is now at
the right hand of the Father (Heb. 8:1), from whence
we look for his reappearing, when he will come to receive
his children unto himself (1 Thess. 4: 16-17).
The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity.
He is divine and has the attributes of God: Eternal
(Heb. 9: 14), omnipresent (Psa. 139: 7), omniscient
(1 Cor. 2 : 10). He is associated with the Father and the
Son (Matt. 28: 19), and is declared to be one with them
( 1 John 5:7). From these facts and from the mani-
festation of his work he has a distinct Personality. His
work is to convince men of their sin (John 16: 8). He
regenerates (John 3: 5-8) and sanctifies (1 Peter 1:2).
He dwells in believers (Rom. 8: 11), comforts (John
14 : 16) and guides them (John 16 : 13) . He is the Leader
of the church in its great mission on earth (Acts 1:8;
" The Scriptures reveal three Persons as constituting
the Godhead. (See Gen. 1 : 26; Matt. 3 : 16, 17; 28: 19;
2 Cor. 13 : 14; 1 John 5 : 7.) It is taught also that these
three are one, one God, not three Gods (1 John 5:7).
The Godhead is an example of unity in trinity and trinity
in unity. It is a tripersonal manifestation of the one God.
" Probably the clearest example in the Scriptures of
DOCTRINES AND ORDINANCES 235
the tripersonality of the Godhead was given when Jesus
was baptized of John (Matt. 3: 16, 17). Jesus, the sec-
ond Person in the Godhead, was baptized; the Holy
Ghost, the third Person in the Godhead, descended as a
dove and came upon Jesus; while the Father, the first
Person in the Godhead, spoke from heaven, saying, ' This
is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' This
case is unmistakable. If it is possible to settle a proposi-
tion, this passage must be accepted as final on the tri-
personality of the Godhead.
" The Scriptures teach that the Father, Son and Holy
Ghost fill separate offices in the salvation of man. The
Father is revealed as the Supreme and Eternal Head and
Law Maker ; the Son as the Lawgiver, the Redeemer, the
Savior, the Advocate; the Holy Spirit as the Guide to
truth, the Comforter, the faithful Witness. (See 1 Cor.
11: 3-23; John 7: 16; 14: 10-24; Matt. 1 : 21 ; Gal. 1 : 4;
1 John 2:1; Rev. 19 : 16 ; John 5 : 22 ; Acts 5 : 32 ; John
16: 7-11.) Not only three Persons in the Godhead, but
three distinct offices, each of the three sustaining to man
an official relation distinct from the other two. The bap-
tismal formula, which teaches trine action, is based on
the three Persons and the three offices in the Godhead." —
H. C. Early, in Two Centuries, pp. 138, 139.
Man was created by God and in the image of God
(Gen. 1: 27). Man's body is material and his soul is
immaterial (Gen. 2:7; Eccles. 12: 7). The immaterial
is sometimes spoken of as soul, sometimes as spirit. That
man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1 : 27), evi-
dently refers to the spiritual likeness, for God is a Spirit
(John 4: 24). On the material side man is subject to
natural laws, much the same as all other earthly beings.
Man has a threefold relationship : To nature he is to be
236 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
sovereign and Lord (Gen. 1 : 28). To man he is related
to all other men (Acts 17: 26), and is to sustain a rela-
tionship of brotherhood to all men (Gal. 3: 8). To God,
in whose image he is created, he is to stand in the relation
of sonship. In this relationship God has " made him a little
lower than the angels and has crowned him with glory
and honor " (Psa. 8:5). For man there is an immortal
destiny, either an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance
in heaven ( 1 Peter 1 : 3-5 ) , or an everlasting destruction
from the presence of the Lord (2 Thess. 1 : 8-9). Man's
rightful heritage is everlasting life in the presence of his
Father. But through the spiritual disease of sin, he may
sicken, turn away from God and eternally lose this in-
Sin has been defined as " any want of conformity to,
or transgression of, the law of God" (James 4: 17; 1
John 3:4). The devil was the father of sin (2 Peter
2:4; John 8: 44), and remains to this day its greatest
agent (Matt. 13: 39). Man sinned when he yielded to
the temptation of the devil and transgressed God's law
(Gen. 3: 1-13). Sin entered into the world through one
man (Rom. 5: 12), but its consequences have fallen up-
on all (Rom. 3: 23). It has become the great spiritual
disease of the race. Its results are transmitted from gen-
eration to generation (Ex. 20: 5). It alienated man
from God, his Father (Gen. 3:8), and from fellowship
with him (Gen. 3: 24). But it has been the great work
of God in all ages to bring about a reconciliation (2 Cor.
Salvation. "Since sin is universal (Rom. 3: 23),
salvation is the supreme need of the world." And the
great work of God is to bring about this condition for
man, whereby he may be rescued from sin and death and
DOCTRINES AND ORDINANCES 237
saved for eternal life and happiness. God has always
taken the initiative in this great work (2 Cor. 5: 18).
Salvation is a gift of God (Rom. 6: 23; Eph. 2: 5), a
gift that has cost him the sacrifice of his only begotten
Son (John 3: 16). Though God was offended and his
law broken, yet he is willing to overlook man's trespass
(2 Cor. 5 : 19), to forgive all his sins under certain con-
ditions (1 John 1:9; Acts 2: 38), and to justify man
through faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 3: 24-26).
Christ is the great Mediator between God and man
(1 Tim. 2: 5). He was the God-man. While he was
divine, he was also human, and was, thereby, able to re-
veal God to man in the most complete way possible. His
life among men and his death on the cross were the su-
preme examples of love and sacrifice that should draw
all men unto him (John 12: 32). He was the perfect
Sacrifice for sins (Heb. 10: 12). His blood cleanses
men from all sins (1 John 1-7), brings to them forgive-
ness for sins (Eph. 1 : 7), and justifies them before God
(Rom. 5:9). Through Jesus Christ, and through him
only, man may be cleansed from his sin, escape its con-
sequences and inherit eternal life (John 10 : 9 ; Rom. 6 :
23; Acts 4: 12).
Man's part in this great plan for salvation is faith, re-
pentance and willing obedience. The Bible emphasizes
the importance of faith (Heb. 11:6; John 3: 36). The
Bible teaches justification by faith (Rom. 5: 1). But a
faith that justifies is more than mere intellectual belief.
" It is a saving grace wrought in the soul by the Spirit of
God, whereby man receives Christ as he is revealed in
the Gospels and relies upon him and his righteousness
for justification and salvation." Such a faith means com-
plete emptiness of self and full surrender to the will of
238 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
God. To him who has this faith there will never be any
question about obeying any command of God. Obedi-
ence will follow as the most natural and most desirable
thing man can do. There will be a godly sorrow for sin
that will work repentance (2 Cor. 7: 10). There will be
such a change of heart that spiritual regeneration will
follow (2 Cor. 5: 17).
The Church of the Brethren has always emphasized
both faith and obedience in salvation. Every applicant
for baptism must publicly declare his faith that " Jesus
Christ is the Son of God and that he brought from
heaven a saving Gospel."
The following paragraph from the resolutions of the
1918 Annual Meeting approaches a doctrinal statement:
" We renew our declaration that the Bible is the Word
of God, the infallible and sufficient Guide in questions of
faith and conduct; that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of
God; born of the Virgin Mary; that, through his death
on the cross, we have a complete sacrifice for sin; and
in his resurrection we have a full assurance of a life be-
yond the grave ; that all men may become children of God
by faith in him (Jesus Christ) and by obedience to his
Word ; that we recognize the Holy Spirit as the One who
is to lead and guide the church into all truth and action."
The Christian Church. The term " church " is used
in the New Testament with different meanings : It may
be " a religious assembly selected and called out of the
world by the doctrine of the gospel, to worship the true
God in Christ, according to his Word " (1 Cor. 1:2). It
may be " all the elect of God, of what nation soever,
from the beginning to the end of the world, who make
but one body, whereof Jesus Christ is the Head " (Col.
1: 18). And then there is "the general assembly and
DOCTRINES AND ORDINANCES 239
church of the first born which are written in heaven "
(Heb. 12 : 23). But there is a visible organization known
as " the church " that has a distinct mission in the world.
The Christian Church was founded by Jesus Christ
himself (Matt. 16: 18). He is both the Foundation of
the church (Eph. 2: 20), and the Head of the church
(Eph. 5 : 23). He has loved the church and gave his life
for its existence (Eph. 5: 25; Acts 20: 28). He is the
very life of the church (Eph. 1 : 23), and through him
the church is a unity (Eph. 4: 12-16).
In the New Testament there are three expressive fig-
ures used to illustrate the nature of the church. First.
The church is a building (Matt. 16: 18 and Eph. 2:
20-22). This figure represents the proper organization
and unity of the church. Second. The church is a body
(1 Cor. 12). This figure represents the organized body
at work, each member doing the work for which he is
best fitted. Third. The church as a bride (Eph. 5: 22-
33). This figure represents the " called-out " charac-
teristic of the church, and urges loyalty to Christ, purity
of life and obedience to the Word on the part of every
member, every local organization, and of the entire
church as a body. These three figures represent the or-
ganized church with its proper officials (Eph. 4: 11), its
proper rules and regulations (Matt. 18: 15-20), perform-
ing its great mission in the world in a way that is pleasing
to the great Head of the church.
The work' and duties of the church are many. Its
chief purpose is missionary and educational (Matt. 28:
19-20; Acts 1:8). Its social duties and philanthropic
service must be emphasized (Matt. 25: 34-39; Acts 6:
1-7; James 1 : 27). The services that have for their pur-
pose the worship of God and the spiritual edification of
240 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
the membership must be regular and frequent (Eph. 5:
19-20; Col. 3: 16; Heb. 10: 25). The church is to ad-
minister discipline (Matt. 18: 15-20; 1 Cor. 5: 1-13).
The church is to provide such officers by which the work
of the church may be carried on (Acts 1: 15-26; Acts
6:1-5; Acts 13: 1-3). The church is to administer those
sacraments and symbols by which members are admitted
into the church, and through which they are brought into
a larger understanding of the great fundamental princi-
ples of the Christian religion. In all the work of the
church it is to be guided by the power and influence of
the Holy Spirit.
Baptism. The Church of the Brethren has always
held that a willing obedience to the ordinance of baptism
is essential to church membership and to the promises of
salvation. Alexander Mack made this ordinance very
prominent in his reply to the critics of the church. There
has never been any question in the church about the neces-
sity of this ordinance, and but little trouble over the
methods of its observance.
There is no question but that Jesus and the apostles
commanded it (Matt. 28: 19; Acts 2: 38), and that the
apostolic church practiced it (Acts 8: 38; 16: 33). The
Brethren hold that it is for believers only and those who
have manifested genuine repentance (Mark 16: 16; Acts
2: 38; 8: 37). This would exclude infant baptism. The
Brethren believe that immersion, three times, face for-
ward, is the only mode taught in the New Testament
(John 3: 23; Matt. 3: 16; Acts 28: 19; 8: 39; Rom. 6:
3-5). "The apostles were commanded, according to
Matt. 28 : 19, to baptize in the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. All this was symbolized
by trine immersion, which was the prevailing mode of
DOCTRINES AND ORDINANCES 241
baptism of the church until the twelfth century." — Fun-
damental Doctrines, p. 40.
Baptism is the symbol of cleansing and of the new
birth (John 3:5), whereby the individual dies to sin, is
born into the kingdom of God and arises to walk in new-
ness of life.
The Church of the Brethren emphasizes faith and re-
pentance as antecedents to baptism. When an individ-
ual applies for membership he is first instructed in mat-
ters pertaining to Christian life and conduct. Matt. 18:
15-20 is read as directions for his living in peace and love
with his brethren. Either at this time or after he is taken
into the water he is asked the questions : " Do you believe
that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he brought
from heaven a saving Gospel ? Do you willingly renounce
Satan, with all his pernicious ways, and all the sinful
pleasures of the world? Do you covenant with God in
Christ Jesus to be faithful until death?" The applicant
having been led into water of sufficient depth, kneels, and
by the officiating minister is completely immersed, three
times, face forward.
In performing this rite the minister uses these words :
" Upon this, thy confession of faith, which thou hast
made before God and these witnesses, thou shalt, for the
remission of sins, be baptized in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." After baptism,
while in the water, the administrator lays his hands on the
head of the candidate and offers up a prayer to God in
his behalf, and for the gift of the Holy Ghost to the new-
born child. Then the member is received, by hand and
kiss, into church fellowship." — -Annual Meeting Minutes,
242 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Feet-washing. The Church of the Brethren has al-
ways accepted and practiced this ordinance which was
established and commanded by Jesus Christ. In that
upper room, on the last evening he spent with his disci-
ples, " He riseth from supper, and laid aside his gar-
ments ; and took a towel and girded himself. After that
he poureth water into a basin and began to wash the dis-
ciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel wherewith
he was girded" (John 13: 4-5). The disciples did not
understand it. It was different from any ceremony or
custom with which they were acquainted. Peter, at first,
refused to have his feet washed, but was told, " If I wash
thee not thou hast no part with me " (John 13:8). Then
followed the explicit command: " If I, then, your Lord
and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash
one another's feet" (John 13: 14). He had given them
a most striking lesson in unselfishness, humility and in
loving service for one another. The disciples understood
it, the apostolic church evidently continued it (1 Tim.
5: 10), and the Brethren have never questioned it.
Led by the officiating minister, the brethren and sisters,
with the sexes seated at different tables, engage in this
service. Girded with a towel and provided with a basin
of water, each brother and each sister stoops before his
brother or her sister and washes their feet and wipes
them with the towel. This is followed not only by the
hearty handshake, but also by the Christian salutation,
the holy kiss, and with a " God bless you " ; and so the
service continues until each communicant at the tables
has engaged in the service.
The Lord's Supper. The Brethren, in using this
term, refer not to " bread and the cup," as most denom-
inations do, but to the full meal which Jesus ate with his
DOCTRINES AND ORDINANCES 243
disciples in the upper room. A meal had been prepared
(Matt. 26: 19; Luke 22: 13) ; and while it was called a
passover, it differed in many respects from the Jewish
passover. The fact that it occurred the evening before
the regular passover (John 18: 28), and that it differed
so very much from the regular passover (compare John
13: 4, 5, 12, and Matt. 26: 26 to 29 with Ex. 12: 14),
indicate that it could only be spoken of figuratively as a
passover. Besides, Luke (22: 20), John (13: 2), and
Paul (1 Cor. 11: 25), all call it a supper. Jesus had
already washed the disciples' feet (John 13: 12), and was
eating with his disciples (John 13: 18-26). It was after
supper that the memorial of the bread and the cup was
" Jesus was about to introduce an institution, the loaf
and the cup, that would be, to his disciples, a passover of
a greater spiritual import, and of a much higher type
than the Mosaic passover had ever been to the Jews. It
was a passing over, indeed, that justified a reference, in
a figure, to the regular passover." — New Testament Doc-
trines, p. 109.
The disciples understood it to be an ordinance to be
continued. Paul, in giving directions for the proper ob-
servance of this meal in the church, calls it a supper (1
Cor. 11). Both Peter (2 Peter 2: 13) and Jude (Jude
12) refer to this ordinance as a love-feast.
" This common meal, eaten together by the believers,
is the bread and water covenant which always symbolizes
brotherhood and peace. All differences are forgiven and
a pledge of peace and mutual fellowship is made. Surely
nothing is more fundamental in Christianity than brother-
hood and peace which are symbolized in this agape or
love-feast." — Fundamental Doctrines, p. 41.
244 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
There have been some differences in methods of ob-
serving the love- feast, such as whether the meat should
be lamb or beef, whether the supper should be on the
table during feet-washing or not. But in general these
differences have been slight. Generally this custom pre-
vails: the meal is prepared, usually under the direction of
the deacons and their wives. It generally consists of beef,
with soup of bread and beef-broth. These, together with
bread and water, are placed on tables before the evening
service begins. The supper is covered and untouched
until after feet-washing. Then the supper is uncovered
and, after thanksgiving, is eaten quietly and with very
little conversation. Many think of it as not only typifying
fellowship, but that it also points forward to the great
supper in the evening of the world (Rev. 19: 9).
The Bread and the Cup. This ordinance is very
clearly described in the gospel writings (Matt. 26: 22-29;
Mark 14: 22-24; Luke 22: 19-20). It was perpetuated
in the Christian church. It is very vividly described and
very forcibly taught by the Apostle Paul : " For I re-
ceived of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you,
that the Lord Jesus, in the night in which he was betrayed,
took bread ; and when he had given thanks he brake it, and
said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in re-
membrance of me. In like manner also the cup, after
supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood :
this do, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye
proclaim the Lord's death till he come " (1 Cor. 11 : 23-
25). " The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the
communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we
break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ "
(1 Cor. 10: 16)?
DOCTRINES AND ORDINANCES 245
Using this last verse, but stating it as a positive form,
the brethren and sisters of the Church of the Brethren
break to each other the bread, and pass to each other the
cup. This memorial is always observed in connection
with the feet-washing service and the love- feast. It was
formerly the custom, and still obtains in some places, to
observe the Christian salutation of the holy kiss between
the love-feast and the bread and cup. It was thought
fitting thus to bind themselves more closely together by
this symbol of love. But there was a strong belief that
such a break between the supper and the bread and cup
was not warranted. The Annual Meeting of 1913 granted
the privilege of dispensing with the salutation between
the supper and the communion, " when it can be done in
harmony." It is now being omitted in many places. An-
other question of long standing was this: The custom
prevailed for the brethren to break the bread one to the
other, but the officiating minister broke it to all of the
sisters. There was a persistent belief that no such differ-
ence should be made. A number of committees studied
the question carefully. The Annual Meeting of 1910
passed the following decision : " We grant the sisters the
same privilege of breaking the bread and passing the cup
that the brethren enjoy."
The Love-Feast and Communion Service is one of
great importance in the Church of the Brethren. It may
be observed any day in the week and at any time in the
year. But it is always observed in the evening in har-
mony with the time of the first service (Matt. 26: 20;
Mark 14: 17; John 13: 30; 1 Cor. 11 : 2-3). The Breth-
ren practice close communion, believing that only those
who are of " one faith and one baptism " can have the
union, harmony and oneness that are necessary to keep
246 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
the ordinances and commune together. Great emphasis
is laid upon a proper preparation for this service (2 Cor.
13: 5; 1 Cor. 11: 28). So the evening service is pre-
ceded by an examination service. Sometimes this con-
sists of a sermon on the subject, always followed by a
season of fervent prayer. Sometimes the service is short.
It usually occurs in the evening before the general service
begins. At this service the officiating brother presides.
This brother is chosen at the opening of the service,
usually from the visiting ministers present and by them.
He leads not only in the examination service but the
services of the entire evening. It is now becoming quite
common for the examination sermon to be preached at
a regular Sunday service, some time before, so that it
may have the largest results in preparing the membership
for the ordinances of the house of God.
The Christian Greeting. The kiss was early adopted
as the method of greeting in the Christian Church (Rom.
16: 16; 1 Cor. 16: 20; 2 Cor. 13: 12; 1 Thess. 5: 16;
1 Peter 5 : 14). The command is a very plain one. Not
only did the apostolic church practice it, but it was con-
tinued in the church for centuries. There is no more
reason for setting this command aside than to neglect any
other. The Church of the Brethren has accepted this
command and this symbol of love. It is practiced at the
feet-washing service and, in general, on occasions of
worship, brethren saluting the brethren, sisters saluting
The Anointing Service. " Is any sick among you ?
Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them
pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the
Lord : and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the
DOCTRINES AND ORDINANCES 247
Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins,
they shall be forgiven him " (James 5 : 14, 15).
The Church of the Brethren generally observes this
means of grace and blessings. They believe that this
service is for believers only (A. M., 1912). It is the
privilege of those who are sick to call for the elders to
perform this rite. In the absence of elders, ministers
may administer it. In the performance of this service,
James 5 : 13-20 is read by one of the elders or ministers.
Fervent prayer is engaged in, especially petitions for the
sick. The afflicted one is then raised to a sitting posture.
One officiating brother pours the oil into the hand of the
other who, three times, applies the oil to the head of the
sick, saying, " Thou art anointed in the name of the Lord,
unto the strengthening of thy faith, unto the comforting
of thy conscience, and unto the full assurance of the re-
mission of thy sins." Then both brethren place their
hands upon the head of the sick and offer fervent prayers
in his behalf.
There have been different views on the purpose of the
anointing. Some think of it as being for the physical
healing only. Others think of it as largely spiritual in
its benefits. Some think of it as being, very much like
the extreme unction, a final preparation for death. But
this view is being largely abandoned. The most prevail-
ing view is likely best expressed in the words of Elder
J. H. Moore:
" The purpose of the anointing is twofold: First, the
restoration to health, and as a second consideration it is
promised that if the sick person ' have committed sins,
they shall be forgiven him.' We read that ' the prayer
of faith shall save the sick ' — that he is to be raised up
from sickness. When called to the bedside of the sick,
248 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
devout elders pray over them, and anoint them with oil
in the name of the Lord. This they do, feeling that the
God who knows all things will do for the sick that which
is for their good. They pray for healing, anoint for
healing, and yet, with implicit confidence, trust the Lord
to fulfill his promise in his own good way.
" There is another promise, and that is an important
one. If the sick have committed sins, they shall be for-
given. This does not mean forgiveness where there has
been a life of sin, or where there has been wilful or pre-
meditated sinning. It means the sins growing out of the
human weakness of saints whose faces are set Zionward.
The supposition is that those who call for the anointing
have done what they could to make wrong right, and that
they have been striving to live right in the sight of God.
And yet it is said of such, ' If they have committed sins.'
A strong emphasis should be placed on the if, for it is not
presumed that men and women can go on sinning for
years, and then, near the end of life, have all their sins
removed, because of the anointing service." — New Testa-
ment Doctrines, pp. 153-154.
The Simple Life. " Simplicity of life and honesty of
purpose are jealously maintained. It is held that out-
ward show with its attendant lusts and extravagance is
incompatible with the Spirit of Jesus. In opposition to
parading the empty, carnal life of the worldly throng
whose only aim is to make a ' fair show ' before men, the
strongest plea is made to live the simple life exemplified
by Jesus and taught by the apostles. All questionable
methods in business are unsparingly condemned. Effort
to secure wealth for the purpose of hoarding it is held to
be sinful. On the other hand, it is held that the acqui-
sition of means to provide legitimate comforts and to
DOCTRINES AND ORDINANCES 249
further the kingdom of God in the world is every man's
" The Church of the Brethren stands opposed to ques-
tionable amusement ; such as the theater, balls, the danc-
ing hall, circuses, etc. The constant aim is to seek after
those things that add strength and weight, and dignity to
" In keeping with this general principle, the members
of the church dress plainly, after a manner that easily
distinguishes them from the world. The ever-changing
fashions of the world are sharply condemned. Jewelry
and gold for ornament are discarded (1 Tim. 2: 9, 10;
1 Peter 3: 3-5). The dress of Christians should be
' modest . . . with shamefacedness and sobriety ; not
with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array,'
with ' even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.' The
sisters veil their heads in time of prayer and prophesying
as Paul teaches (1 Cor. 11: 3-15).
" As a means to the end of maintaining the principle of
plainness in the church body, a form of dress, known as
' The Order,' is taught. It is based on the presumption
that it is helpful in maintaining the principle in practical
form. And observation confirms the presumption. It is
taught as a ' means to an end,' not the end itself. It is
valuable only as it emphasizes and maintains principle.
And since it is difficult, if not impossible, to maintain the
principle without the help of a form, as it is shown in
the lives of good-meaning people all around us, is it not
the part of wisdom to hold on to what has proven helpful
in maintaining the Word of God? " — H. C. Early, in Two
Centuries, pp. 148-149.
A Separate People. "The true followers of our
Lord and Master have always been recognized as a sep-
250 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
arate people. They belong to a kingdom that is not of
this world (John 18: 36). Those who put off the old
man with his evil deeds, and then put on the new man,
are expected to separate themselves from everything that
is evil, and even the things that have the appearance of
" The call to a separate life may be found in 2 Cor.
6:17, where we read : Wherefore come out from among
them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not
the unclean thing ; and I will receive you.' Every person
who has been born of God, who has been dedicated, con-
secrated and sanctified — set apart wholly for the Lord's
service — has heeded the call to come out from the world.
Having done so, such persons will not be found living,
thinking and doing as the sinful and unconverted world
does. . . .
" Speaking on the subject of nonconformity, Paul in
Rom. 12 : 2 says : ' Be not conformed to this world : but
be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye
may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect
will of God.' The Revised Version has this rendering:
' Be not fashioned according to this world,' or according
to this ' age,' as it stands in the margin. While this trans-
formation is brought about by the renewing of the mind,
it nevertheless relates itself to every phase of the new and
consecrated life. It applies to character, methods of do-
ing business, attending places of amusement and other
places wholly unbecoming the Christian profession, as
well as places of residence, houses of worship, occupa-
tions and even the clothing that is worn.
" Along all these lines the ideals of the world are
modeled, not after the ideals that elevate, refine and
purify, but after those that degrade. The follower of
DOCTRINES AND ORDINANCES 251
Christ is not to fashion his life after worldly models.
When he renounced Satan with all his pernicious ways,
and put on Christ in baptism, he turned his back to the
world, and it is therefore but proper, as well as logical,
that he should, by his manner of life, show that he is a
new man, seeking higher and better ideals than those
offered by the world. This should lead to a transforma-
tion sufficiently distinct to enable Christians to be living
epistles, 'known and read of all men' (2 Cor. 3: 2).
They should be known by their manner of living, their
dealings with their fellow-men and with one another, by
the evils they shun, the good deeds they do, and by their
well-studied efforts to avoid the things that have even
the appearance of evil. Their character and deportment
in life, in the interest of nonconformity, ought to be well
enough defined to mark them as a separate people.
" Were this done there would be little occasion for de-
fining the Christian's metes and bounds in any depart-
ment of life. Instead of falling in with the misleading
ways of the unconverted, they would seek the ways that
are higher and better. Instead of being influenced by
the cravings, the greed, the lust, the extravagance, and
amusements of the unrighteous, they would rise to a
higher plane of living, and labor to influence others for
good." — New Testament Doctrines, pp. 96-97, 133-135.
The Doctrine of Love, as a positive force in the
Christian life, is being more and more emphasized. Ear-
nest, spiritual men and women realize that it is not enough
simply to be good and keep away from sin. There must
be a positive content to one's goodness. Jesus taught a
new commandment, " that ye love one another as I have
loved you." This love of Jesus was manifest in his great
252 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
concern for men and women, and in his service of love
" God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost
and with power : who went about doing good, and healing
all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with
him " (Acts 10: 38). " For even hereunto were ye called,
because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example
that we should follow in his steps " (1 Peter 2 : 21).
Paul most strongly emphasizes this great doctrine in
the familiar thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians.
Without love, all other Christian graces count for noth-
ing. It is the bond of perfectness (Col. 3 : 14). It is the
test of our discipleship, both to ourselves (1 John 3: 14)
and to others (John 13: 35).
Christian love is the world's greatest need today. It
will drive out of the hearts of men the ugly characteris-
tics of selfishness, hatred, strife, murder and war. These
are the things that shrivel men's souls and make them as
nothing. Love will make men large-hearted, unselfish,
efficient and willing to lend a hand wherever help is
The Brethren have always been known as a people who
manifest peace and good-will toward men. With a more
active, positive spirit of love, the church will go forth in
the world on the great mission of service which the Mas-
ter has committed to his people. Nothing will so unite
God's people and cause them to forget all technical differ-
ences as this simple but powerful command of our Lord.
DOCTRINES AND ORDINANCES 253
References and Readings
Doctrine of the Brethren Defended, R. H. Miller.
God's Means of Grace, C. F. Yoder.
Fundamental Doctrines of Faith, D. W. Kurtz.
New Testament Doctrines, J. H. Moore.
Doctrines of the Church, H. C. Early, in Two Centuries.
Christianity at the Fountain, Daniel Hays.
Brethren's Tracts and Pamphlets.
Annual Meeting Minutes.
Much of the history of the church centers around a
few able, energetic and faithful leaders. The names and
records of some of these should be well known. These
biographies have been well-written in our church papers
and in various volumes of our church literature. Best of
all their records are written in the work and progress of
the church. All of this is recorded in the Lamb's Book
of Life. But for the benefit of those who read these
chapters, a few biographies are here given. It is difficult
to make a proper selection. Evidently some will be
omitted who ought to be included. The purpose is to
give only those who have been leaders in various lines of
church activities. Only a very few living men are in-
Joseph Amick will long be remembered as an ag-
gressive leader in the church.
He was born in Mifflin County, Pa., October 28, 1834.
Here he grew to manhood and married. In 1857 he
united with the Church of the Brethren. Before this he
had been interested in Sunday-schools. He was much
grieved that the Brethren took so little interest in the
education of their children. In 1857 he wrote a query
for the Annual Meeting, which brought the first favor-
able answer from the Conference concerning Sunday-
256 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
In 1862 Brother Amick located in White County, Ind.
This territory was then in the bounds of the Bachelor
Run church, which called him to the ministry in 1863.
In 1865 the Monticello church was organized. He was
one of its faithful leaders nearly twenty years. During
this time he became a leading figure in Middle Indiana.
He frequently served as officer of District Meeting and
represented the District on the Standing Committee in
1879. He was much interested in Sunday-schools and
missions and was really the father of the District mission
work in Middle Indiana.
Brother Amick had proved himself an able financier.
In 1881 he moved to Mt. Morris and took charge of the
financial interests of the Brethren Publishing House. In
this work he was eminently successful in placing the
business on a sound financial basis. From a small private
plant he guided its growth to the present large establish-
ment, owned and directed by the Brotherhood. When
advancing years compelled his retirement from service,
he was succeeded by his son-in-law, the present business
manager, R. E. Arnold.
Joseph Amick was the oldest of that remarkable group
of four men who worked together for many years and
who have done so much for the Brotherhood — Joseph
Amick, J. G. Royer, D. L. Miller and J. H. Moore.
H. B. Brumbaugh. Henry Boyer Brumbaugh was a
native of Huntingdon County, Pa., where he spent his
entire life. He was born April 1, 1836. He spent his
boyhood days on the farm. He received the public school
training and also attended Williamsburg Academy and
Cassville Seminary. He taught school nine years and
spent seven years on the farm. He was married in 1860.
His wife was Susan F. Peightal. To them was born one
son, Isaac Harvey, who has been at the head of Juniata
College for more than twenty years.
H. B. united with the Church of the Brethren June 15,
1856. He was called to the ministry in 1864. In 1870
he and his brother, John B., with whom he was very
closely associated in his long service for the church, be-
gan publishing the Weekly Pilgrim at James Creek, Pa.
In 1875 they moved to Huntingdon, where they united
their paper with the Christian Family Companion and the
Gospel Visitor. He had a constant editorial connection
with the church papers for nearly fifty years — to the last
serving as a contributing editor. In 1889 he was ordained
to the eldership and had presiding care of the Hunting-
don church for thirty years. He served at least six times
on the Standing Committee, acting as writing clerk in
1904. Through his long editorial career he had many ad-
miring readers. In 1910 he published his book, Onesimus.
In 1894 he published the church manual which has been
in large use in the church.
In 1876 he was one of the founders of Juniata College.
He was the first and only president of the board of trus-
tees, having already served in that office for forty-two
years. After the death of President James Quinter, he
was acting president of Juniata College for several years,
and also dean of the Bible school. He was always a keen
student of men and books and events. In 1895 he made
an extended tour of Europe and Bible Lands. In the
glory of his winter sunshine he awaited the angel sum-
mons, and enjoyed a very large circle of personal friends
who are grateful to him for his long service to the school,
church and country.
He died June 28, 1919.
258 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
H. C. Early. Next to Elder D. L. Miller, Elder H. C.
Early has given the longest service on the General Mis-
sion Board. Since 1901 he has been a member of this
important committee, serving for many years as vice-
president, and, since 1913, as president of the board.
Henry C. Early was born May 11, 1855, in Augusta
County, Va. He was raised on the farm, surrounded by
the influences of a good home and with the ordinary
school advantages of that day. He attended Normal
School for two terms and taught from 1874 to 1883.
Since then he has been engaged in agriculture, though of
late years his church service has taken up practically all
of his time. He was married in 1876 to Mary A. Sho-
walter, to which union one son and five daughters were
He united with the Church of the Brethren December
12, 1876. He at once became active in Sunday-school.
In 1880 he was called to the ministry in the Barren Ridge
church and advanced in 1883. He became very active
and successful as an evangelist, and through his efforts
many were brought into the church. He also had a large
hearing through his pen ministry, for he was a regular
contributor to the Gospel Messenger. He was ordained
to the eldership in the Mill Creek church in 1898. Since
then his duties as elder and as a servant of the General
Brotherhood have taken up much of his time.
He has served ten times on the Standing Committee,
acting twice as reading clerk and seven times as modera-
tor. As presiding officer he has been one of the most suc-
cessful, having great ability to direct the work of the Con-
ference. He has served on many of the most important
committees of the last twenty years and has had a large
share in shaping the policies and decisions of the Confer-
ence. He is a leader whom men may follow and feel
safe. He is appealed to by many brethren for advice on
questions of church polity and doctrine. In addition to
his long experience on the Mission Board, he was chair-
man of the General Educational Board for seven years.
His interest in missions is keen and abiding. In 1913-
1914 he made a trip around the world, visiting the mis-
sion fields of China and India. For a number of years
he has been a contributing editor to the Gospel Messenger.
He spent one year as pastor of the Washington City
church. He is the presiding elder of the Mill Creek
church, the largest congregation in Virginia.
Enoch Eby, 1828-1910, was born in Juniata County,
Pa. His home training was good, but the social and edu-
cational advantages were poor. He joined the Brethren
in 1845 and was called to the ministry in 1851. He had
previously taught school, but did not feel that he had any
special fitness for preaching. He finally surrendered him-
self to the Lord and in his hands became a great power
In 1855 he moved to the Waddams Grove congrega-
tion, Northern Illinois. Here he was the means of bring-
ing many into the church. He was ordained in 1864. He
soon became a foremost leader in the Brotherhood. He
served on the Standing Committee eighteen times and
fifteen times he was chosen either moderator or reading
clerk. He was one of the best moderators the General
Conference ever had.
Elder Eby had wide interests in the church. He was
the first missionary appointed to foreign lands by the
Brethren. It was largely through his encouragement that
Northern Illinois responded to the appeal from Denmark
in 1877. He and his wife, together with Elder Daniel
260 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Fry and wife, spent several months in Denmark. He
was a member of the first Mission Board appointed in
1880 and was its chairman for nineteen years. He was
interested in education, too, and was one of the moving
spirits in founding McPherson College.
" As a minister he ranked, in his prime, among the
very best pulpit orators in the church. He had none of
the artificial niceties of the elocutionary art. His speech
was natural and unstudied and came warm from the
heart. He was able to move audiences as few men could
in his time. He was not a debater, as was his ablest con-
temporary, Brother R. H. Miller. His power lay in
exhortations and appeals to the heart and emotions, rather
than to the reason, and he never failed to carry his audi-
ence with him. He was emotional, kind-hearted, courte-
ous, genial and put his soul into his work. Few who
knew him well will ever forget his hearty handshake and
his warm greetings." — D. L. M.
Elder Eby was twice married : In 1847 to Hetty Howe,
who died in 1867; in 1870 to Anna Gilfilen. All of his
children joined the church when young. Two of his
sons, D. B. Eby and L. H. Eby, have become able work-
ers in the church. A grandson, Elder E. H. Eby, is a
missionary to India.
James R. Gish was born in Roanoke County, Va., in
1824. His parents, who were members of the Brethren
Church, set before him examples of righteous living. He
was in poor circumstances and had to work hard when a
boy. He received very little education ; but by his careful
study of the Scriptures he later became a minister of
He was married to Barbara Kindig in 1849. In the
same year they emigrated to Woodford County, 111.,
where they secured some excellent land at a very low
price. They united with the church in 1852, and Brother
Gish was elected to the ministry the same year. His
sterling character gave great power to his preaching. He
knew the Scriptures well and had the fearless disposition
to expound the truth. His wife, who was a good singer
and a loving woman, was of great assistance to him.
In 1854 they returned to Virginia by private convey-
ance. The trip occupied many weeks, but it was well
spent in preaching at many places. His interest for the
welfare of the church was such that he went on many
missionary tours, always at his own expense. After the
war he went as far south as New Orleans. Later he and
his wife went on extensive journeys through Tennessee.
His special concern was for the isolated places. Fre-
quently he assisted poor ministers to locate permanently
in weak churches. He was the means of building up and
organizing several congregations. He preached in no
fewer than twenty-two States. The last nine years of his
life were spent in the mission fields of Arkansas. Here
his labors and sacrifices were great. It is surely an en-
couraging picture to see this old veteran of threescore
and ten, accompanied by his faithful wife, toiling in the
harvest fields for the Master. Declining years did not
check his activity, and he passed away on the field of
battle. After an illness of four months he died at Stutt-
gart, Ark., April 30, 1896. He was buried with his kin-
dred and friends at Roanoke, 111.
Notwithstanding his busy life, spent for the church,
Brother Gish acquired considerable means. This he used
freely to aid the poor and to spread the Gospel. After
his death his generous wife turned over nearly $60,000
to the General Missionary and Tract Committee. This is
262 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
known as the Gish Fund. The income is used to furnish
useful books, at a nominal cost, to the ministers of the
Church of the Brethren. It has, no doubt, been a great
blessing to the church and will continue to be so for years
George Hoke was a native of Pennsylvania, born
July 1, 1783. He came to Ohio, where he married Chris-
tina Mellinger, January 11, 1805. They were the parents
of nine children. He was called to the ministry in the
Mahoning church and ordained before 1820. He moved
to the Canton church in 1826 and remained until 1844.
He lived in the East Nimishillen church eight years and
then moved to the Dickey church, where he spent his last
years. He died June 23, 1861, aged 77 years, 11 months
and 23 days.
Elder Hoke was a man of much prominence in the
Brotherhood. He served for twenty years on the Stand-
ing Committee. From 1848 to 1858 he was moderator
of the Annual Meetings. He was a strong leader, very
kind but very decisive. He could call brethren to order
in a very kind way. His voice was clear, strong and
musical. He was short in stature, but rather stoutly
built. He had a pleasant countenance, a dignified and
courteous manner. He had a good command of both
English and German. He was an able minister, a clear
thinker, a profound and logical reasoner. At one time
he had an extensive correspondence with a brother on
the question of slavery, and completely won the latter to
his views. It was his strong preaching that won Henry
Kurtz to the church. Elder Kurtz was baptized, installed
in the ministry and ordained by Elder Hoke.
One of his daughters, Elizabeth, married Elias Dickey.
Elder Dickey served the church for twenty-five years in
the ministry, and was widely known throughout the
Brotherhood. His son, Elder L. H. Dickey, of Fostoria,
Ohio, is now nearing his eightieth year and has served in
the ministry since 1865. He has lived since 1862 in the
bounds of the old Rome congregation, Northwestern
Ohio. His son, Dr. John P. Dickey, is dean of the Bible
School at La Verne College.
John Kline was born in Rockingham County,
Virginia, June 17, 1797. He never went to school very
much, but learned to read and write both English and
German. After his marriage he lived on a farm near
the place of his birth ; but in time he became also a prac-
ticing physician. He was elected to the ministry about
1834 and preached his first sermon February 8, 1835. At
this time he began keeping a diary, and continued to do
so for twenty-nine years. These records, which have
been published in book form by his old friend, Benjamin
Funk, tell of his many visits in Virginia and other States.
They also record synopses of many of the sermons de-
livered by himself and other brethren. He has left an
account of many visits to families in Virginia, and in-
cluded many items of their family history. He served on
the Standing Committee nearly every year for twenty
years, and was moderator the last four years of his life.
He was fully alive to the missionary work in the church.
His yearly travels were very great, amounting to as much
as 6,500 miles in a single year. He generally went on
horseback and his diary gives much credit to faithful
Nell. Often he would have appointments for preaching
every day for weeks ahead. He was faithful to every
trust committed to him and never disappointed his peo-
ple. He had a commanding presence, a wonderful knowl-
edge of the Scriptures, and a power to deliver his mes-
264 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
sages in an effective way. His advice was much sought
on matters pertaining to the welfare of the church. In
some years he preached as many as fifty funerals.
He opposed slavery, war and secession. In this way
he incurred the hatred of the enemies of his country.
After the great rebellion began he continued to pass
through the lines to visit his Northern brethren. In the
spring of 1864 he attended the Annual Meeting at Ha-
gerstown, Ind., and took a prominent part. He preached
at many places on this journey. He fully realized his
danger in his valley home, but he returned with the faith
that whatever happened all was well. June 15, 1864, he
went a short distance from home to get Nell shod. Later
in the day he was found dead by the roadside, his body
pierced by several bullets. It is said that his assassins
later met unhappy fates, but the first martyr missionary
of the Church of the Brethren in America rested in the
embrace of death, with a heavenly smile upon his counte-
nance. By tender hands his loved remains were laid to
rest in the Linville cemetery, where a simple marble slab
now marks the grave of this saintly herald of the cross.
Henry Kurtz was born in Germany, July twenty-
second, 1796. He received a very good education, intend-
ing to follow the profession of teaching. Later he prepared
for the Lutheran ministry. He came to America in 1819.
While on his voyage he became acquainted with a young
man who had been educated for the Catholic priesthood.
Years afterward these two men met at an Annual Meet-
ing, not a Lutheran and Catholic, but both of them minis-
ters of the Church of the Brethren. Upon his arrival he
at once entered upon his ministerial duties in Northamp-
ton County, Pa. The next year he married Anna Cath-
erine Loehr. Three years later he moved to Pittsburgh,
where he remained three years. While engaged in his
work here he began to doubt the validity of infant bap-
tism. When he made known his conviction quite a stir
was made by the Lutherans. He was finally excommuni-
cated and lost his charge. In 1826 he moved to Ohio,
and settled in Stark County the next spring. He had
learned of the Brethren and soon became much interested
in their faith and practice. He was baptized in 1828 and
elected to the ministry two years later. His father-in-law
opposed his joining the church. He persuaded a school-
teacher, Frederick P. Loehr, to try to convince Henry
that the Brethren were not right. Loehr failed in his
mission and later he himself was baptized and became an
elder in the church.
In 1838 Elder Kurtz returned to Germany on a visit
to his parents. While there he preached in Switzerland
and baptized several members. He continued to reside
in Stark County until 1842, when he was called to the
Mill Creek church, Mahoning County. Here he was or-
dained to the eldership in 1844. He was elder of this
congregation for thirty years. His fine education made
him a very useful man in the church; especially in the
Annual Meeting, where he served on the Standing Com-
mittee twenty times, acting as clerk nearly every year.
In 1851 he revived the literary activity of the church by
sending out the first numbers of the Gospel Visitor. For
ten years he had desired to do something of this kind, but
the Brethren had never considered it advisable. His early
trials were severe and the life of his paper uncertain.
Finally the Annual Meeting refused to interfere and the
paper became firmly established. In 1856 he secured as
his assistant James Quinter, who became editor when
Elder Kurtz retired in 1864. He used German fluently
266 . HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
and preferred to write his editorials in his native tongue
and have them translated into English. He was wide
awake on the question of higher education. He possessed
much musical ability, both vocal and instrumental. He
was one of only a very few Brethren who possessed an
organ in those days. As his ability was more along liter-
ary and editorial lines, he did not become active in com-
mittee work. He died on January 12, 1874, aged 77 years,
5 months and 21 days.
S. N. McCann. Samuel N. McCann was born in the
mountains of Upshur County, West Virginia, December
15, 1858. The advantages of his home life and of the
community were very few. His parents were hard-work-
ing people, and from them he inherited a strong body and
a strong mind. His mother was a devoted Christian and
instilled Christian principles in her son. He united with
the church at fourteen and was called to the ministry at
eighteen. He determined to be a teacher. By hard study
he secured a certificate and taught several terms. He en-
tered Juniata College in 1880 and completed the Normal
English Course in 1883.
In 1885 he became a member of the faculty of Bridge-
water College and remained in this connection during
much of his life, though he was absent at different times
for service in the field and for study. He spent the
years 1887-1890 on the frontier field in Southern Mis-
souri and Arkansas. 1895 to 1897 were spent in the
Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville, Ky. While
here he was called by the General Mission Board to take
up the work in India. There he gave ten years of faithful
and heroic service, proving himself a leader of large
vision and of great executive ability. While at his post
of duty he contracted a disease which made it necessary
for him to leave the field permanently. For a while after
his return he worked for the General Mission Board, and
then again took up his work as teacher at Bridgewater,
where he remained until his death.
Brother McCann was ordained to the eldership in 1894.
He proved himself a great blessing to the church of his
choice. He was willing to make any sacrifice whatsoever
for the church. Though he was almost a constant suf-
ferer during the last ten years of his life, he bore his
affliction with great courage, and in the meantime was
doing a great amount of work. His two books, The Lord
Our Righteousness and The Beatitudes, have proved to
be of much help and comfort to all who have read them.
Through his sermons, lectures and institutes he reached
a large body of hearers. His teaching was always sound,
spiritual and uplifting. He had convictions and he dared
to stand for them. He served three times on the Stand-
ing Committee, twice as writing clerk.
Both in his State District and in the Brotherhood he
was a trusted leader.
He was married to Elizabeth Gibbel at Bulsar, India,
June 29, 1898. To them were born a son and a daughter.
He spent the summer before his death in North Dakota,
holding series of meetings. While here his health com-
pletely gave way and he passed to his reward August 24,
John Metzger was born in Blair County, Penn-
sylvania, December 20, 1807. His grandparents had emi-
grated in 1758 from Holland to Baltimore, where each
was sold for several years' service to pay for their passage
across the Atlantic. When John was twelve years old
his parents moved to Dayton, Ohio. Here he married
Hannah Ulrey, in 1828, and soon after this both of them
26$ HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
joined the Church of the Brethren. In 1834 they moved to
Tippecanoe County, Ind., where he was elected to the
ministry the next year. He saw that the harvest was
great but the laborers indeed were few. He preached his
first sermon in a sawmill. He had varied experiences in
preaching to the hardy pioneers, but the Lord blessed his
work and many were brought into the church.
He was ordained to the eldership in 1843. After 1848
he seldom missed an Annual Meeting, always paying his
own expenses and preaching at many places, both going
and coming. About 1860 he moved to Cerro Gordo, 111.
He called upon Abraham Lincoln at Springfield just be-
fore the President-elect started for Washington. He
continued his ministerial work in his new home with un-
abated zeal, and often went back to his old Indiana home,
preaching at many places along the way. It is said that
he preached in at least twenty different States. Through
his efforts many members were brought to the church in
Though he started poor in life, and always sacrificed
his own interests to those of the church, the Lord blessed
him in temporal things, a due part of which he returned
to the Giver. In 1878 he built a house of worship at
Cerro Gordo, 111. Elder R. H. Miller dedicated it to the
service of God.
In 1887 his aged wife died and two years later he
married Sister Parmelia Wolfe, the widowed daughter-
in-law of Elder George Wolfe. In 1890 they moved to
Lordsburg, Calif. Here he spent his last years peace-
fully. He engaged in planting a fruit orchard and was
interested in the Lordsburg [La Verne] College. He
gave his last address at the District Meeting of Califor-
nia, in March, 1896. Shortly after this he made one more
journey across the Rocky Mountains, to his old home at
Cerro Gordo. Here, on May 25, 1896, surrounded by
his family, he peacefully fell asleep. Thus ended the
noble life of one who had served the church for sixty-
one years in the ministry, had been on eighteen Standing
Committees, had acted on dozens of committees sent to
all parts of the Brotherhood, and had traveled thousands
of miles to tell the sweet story of the cross. By his un-
selfish labors hundreds had been brought into the fold of
D. L. Miller. Daniel Long Miller was born near
Hagerstown, Md., October 5, 1841, the eldest child of a
family of thirteen children. His father was a miller by
trade, as well as by name, and in this business D. L. be-
came proficient. He secured the scanty training given by
the common schools of his day. But he acquired a great
love for reading. He early began to collect books for
what later became a large and excellent library. He
taught school for a number of years in Maryland and
Pennsylvania. As early as 1860 he had made a trip to
Mt. Morris, 111., and several trips back and forth in the
few years following. In 1868, after his marriage to
Elizabeth Talley of Philadelphia, he settled in the mer-
cantile business in Polo, 111. After some reverses he be-
came very successful in business.
While in Maryland in 1863 he accepted Christ by bap-
tism. From this time on he had an active interest in the
work of the church. While at Polo he and Sister Miller
took an active part, both in Methodist Sunday-school in
town and in the Brethren services, six miles in the coun-
try. His success in business and his active interest in
church work attracted the attention of the Brethren in
270 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
In 1879 he was invited to become business manager of
Mt. Morris College. He showed his usual business ability
in this new work. From 1881 to 1884 he was acting
president of this institution, and from 1883 to 1913 presi-
dent of the Board of Trustees. In 1883 he and his wife
made a trip to Europe and Bible Lands. His articles in
the Gospel Messenger attracted wide attention in the
church, and his first book, Europe and Bible Lands,
has been one of the most popular ever published by the
Brethren. On his return to America he was elected a
member of the General Mission Board, of which he has
been a member ever since; though since 1910 he has acted
only in an advisory capacity. In 1882 he, together with
Elder Joseph Amick, took charge of the Brethren at
Work and made it a success. Since 1884 he has been on
the editorial staff of the Gospel Messenger, first as office
editor, and since the death of Elder James Quinter, in
1888, the senior editor.
He is widely known as a great traveler. In 1891 he
made an extended tour of Egypt and Palestine. Wander-
ings in Bible Lands records his journeys. In 1895 he
made his first trip around the world. Girdling the Globe,
in 1898, was the written record of this journey. In 1904
he and Sister Miller made an extended tour of oriental
countries. The Other Half of the Globe, published in
1906, completed his books on his travels. In the mean-
time he had published two other books, Seven Churches
of Asia and Eternal Verities. In 1912 he was joint
author, with Galen B. Royer, of Some Who Led. But
his large production of books is only a small portion of
the products of his ready and skillful pen. For thirty-
five years he has been a large contributor to the Gospel
June 15, 1887, he was called to the ministry in the Mt.
Morris congregation. He was ordained to the eldership
in 1891. The same year he represented Northern Illinois
on the Standing Committee, where he was closely asso-
ciated with the well-known R. H. Miller, who was that
year serving his last time on the Committee. Five times
has he served as writing clerk of the Conference and
twice as its moderator. He has served on many of the
most important committees appointed during the last
Both as a minister and lecturer he is widely known as
" D. L." His ability and works have attracted the atten-
tion of educated men at home and abroad. He has been
offered some high honorary degrees. But his greatest
joy is to see the church of his choice prosper and the
kingdom of God triumph. He has been one of the heavi-
est donors in the Brotherhood to the cause of missions
and education. He is still active and does much preach-
ing among the churches. His home is at Mt. Morris,
though he spends most of his winters in California. He
enjoys a large circle of personal friends and maintains a
large correspondence. Though he and Sister Miller have
no children of their own, there are many in the church to
whom they are indeed spiritual parents.
Jacob Miller, 1735-1816. Elder Jacob Miller was one
of the most active men in the history of the church. He
was born in Franklin County, Pa. He early united with
the Brethren there and was called to the ministry. In
1765 he moved with the tide of emigration southward
and settled in what is now Franklin County, Va. He was
the first Brethren minister in the State. He was very
active in his calling. Largely through his efforts and
those of his colaborer, William Smith, whom Elder Miller
272 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
had baptized, most of the pioneer churches in Southern
Virginia were founded.
In 1800 he moved to Southern Ohio and settled near
the Miami River, south of where Dayton now stands.
The dense forests then were full of Indians. Elder Miller
gained their confidence and protection. He preached
through all of the frontier settlements in Montgomery
and Preble Counties, where now the Brethren churches
are so prosperous. Some of his Virginia relatives settled
on Four Mile Creek in Indiana territory. To these he
made visits and preached for them. He organized the
first congregation in Indiana, on Four Mile Creek, in
1809. He thus became the pioneer preacher and organ-
izer of churches in three States, Virginia, Ohio and Indi-
ana. He died in 1816 and was buried near his Ohio
Elder Jacob Miller has many descendants. He had
twelve children and nearly one hundred grandchildren.
Nearly all of these grew to maturity and raised large
families. Among his descendants were many active
workers in the church. Two of his sons, David and
Aaron, settled around the Nettle Creek church in Indiana
and later the Portage church near South Bend. One of
his grandchildren, Elder Jacob Miller, Jr., of the Portage
church, was for many years the leading elder in Indiana,
and one of the most influential men in the Brotherhood. —
History of Indiana, pages 378-383.
Robert Henry Miller. Elder R. H. Miller was a
native of Shelby County, Kentucky, born June 7, 1825.
When he was seven years old his parents moved to Mont-
gomery County, Ind., where Robert spent most of his
life. He had the meager advantages of the country
schools of his day. For a while he attended Waveland
Academy, where he prepared for teaching school. In
this profession he spent but two years. After his mar-
riage, in 1846, to Sarah C. Harshbarger, he settled on the
farm, where he spent all his time until he was called to
From a boy R. H. had been thoughtful and steady.
His parents were Baptists. He himself had once become
very much interested at a Methodist camp meeting. His
wife was the daughter of a deacon in the Church of the
Brethren. Together they united with the church in the
spring of 1858. August 16 of the same year he was
called to the ministry. He had long been known as a
speaker of ability. When a boy he took great interest in
the country school debates. He had read law and had
been engaged in pleading some minor cases. He was
well known as a local temperance lecturer. Now, as a
minister, he preached well from the beginning. He was
soon ordained and placed in charge of the Racoon Creek
Robert's ability soon became known and there was
much demand for his services. He began defending the
church doctrines in public debates and became the most
able advocate of the doctrines of the church. The Doc-
trine of the Brethren Defended, published in 1876, is a
standard treatise on doctrines and ordinances. For the
church papers he was a frequent contributor. He was
an associate editor for a while of both the Primitive
Christian and the Brethren at Work, and was editor-in-
chief of the Gospel Preacher before that paper joined the
Progressive Movement. He was also president of Ash-
land College, Ohio, for eighteen months.
Elder Miller's first wife died in 1880. Four of their
eight children had preceded her. In 1881 he was married
274 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
to Emma Norris of Maryland. They moved in 1882 to
North Manchester, where he spent the last ten years of
his life. By this marriage he had five sons, four of whom
with the mother are yet living.
At North Manchester, Elder Miller efficiently directed
the church for ten years. During the days of division he
did much to hold members true to the church. In Middle
Indiana he was a father. In the Brotherhood at large he
was a foremost leader. He was ever an able preacher
and remained in active service to the last. He died
March 8, 1892, at the home of his brother and friend,
President J. G. Royer, of Mt. Morris, 111., to which place
he had been called to deliver a series of doctrinal dis-
courses during the Special Bible Term.
A complete history of his life and work, by Otho
Winger, was published by the Brethren Publishing House
in 1910. For shorter biographies see Some Who Led,
pp. 139-143; History of the Brethren in Indiana, pp.
B. F. Moomaw. Elder Benjamin F. Moomaw
was born March 30, 1813, and died at his home near
Bonsacks, Virginia, November 6, 1900, in his eighty-
eighth year. His education was limited, and yet it was
fairly good for his day. But through a long life of serv-
ice and study he became widely known all over the Broth-
erhood as an author and preacher of great ability. He
was elected to the ministry and ordained to the eldership
while yet a young man. He became the owner of a large
farm and was very successful in all his business transac-
tions. Here in his commodious, picturesque, southern
home he entertained hundreds of brethren who always
enjoyed his hospitality and the charm of his extra con-
versational powers. He built up a large congregation,
over which he presided with rare skill and firmness. He
was cool and level-headed in all circumstances in life.
Like Elder John Kline, he opposed slavery, secession and
war. His life was in much danger during the rebellion,
but he so conducted himself that after the conflict was
over he had the respect of both parties. He was instru-
mental in getting the Confederate Congress to exempt the
Brethren from military duty on payment of five hundred
He was prominent in the Annual Meeting, serving on
the Standing Committee seven times. He served on some
of the most important committees ever appointed by
Annual Meeting. In later years he was familiarly known
everywhere as " Father Moomaw." He wrote much for
the church periodicals on various subjects. He once held
a debate by letter with a Rev. Jackson, on the subject of
baptism. In this debate he had the unusual success of
converting his opponent and baptizing him into the
Church of the Brethren. Another one of his books, The
Divinity of Christ, grew out of the question, " What think
ye of Christ? " put to him by a young man who could not
accept the Divinity of Christ. He devoted his last hours
to reminiscences of his church work and telling of the
blessings with which God had crowned his days. He told
his family that he was going to the grave with the same
satisfaction that he went to hear a sermon on a pleasant
J. H. Moore. For a period of more than forty years
no man has had larger influence in the Church of the
Brethren than Elder J. H. Moore. During this time there
has been a steady stream of literature from his ready
pen. For thirty-three years, as editor of the church
276 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
periodical, he was not only a constant contributor, but
directed largely the character of the entire paper.
John H. Moore was born in Salem, Roanoke County,
Va., April 8, 1846. In 1850 his parents moved to Wood-
ford County, 111., and six years later to Cedar County,
Mo. Here the family was building up a prosperous home,
when the Civil War in that land made their lives unsafe.
The family fled hastily, leaving all their goods and pos-
sessions behind them. They located in Adams County,
111. Here the young Moore came in touch with the well-
known George Wolfe. He had already joined the church
at thirteen and was taking great interest in spiritual
matters. His acquaintance with the aged Elder Wolfe
was a great blessing to him. He began a careful study,
not only of the Bible, but of all other good literature he
In 1869, while living at Champaign, 111., he was called
to the ministry. In 1876 he located at Lanark, 111., and
soon formed an editorial connection with the Brethren
at Work. Later, when the name of the paper was changed
to the Gospel Messenger, and the office was moved to
Mt. Morris, he was office editor. In Northern Illinois
he was one of the men to encourage the Danish Mission
and the establishment of Mt. Morris College. His influ-
ence in the Brotherhood at this early date was very bene-
The years 1884 to 1891 were spent in Florida. He
then returned to the editorial chair of the Gospel Mes-
senger and remained in faithful and efficient service for
twenty-four years. It is safe to say that during this time
he was in closer touch with the Brotherhood than any
other man. The beneficial results of his constant influ-
ence in the church would be very hard to estimate. He
was one of the most familiar persons at Annual Meeting
and wielded a large influence on the decisions of that
body. He served three times as writing clerk of the
The last Conference he attended as editorial repre-
sentative was at Hershey, Pa., in 1915. To realize that
the close of his active work for the church had come, on
account of his advancing years, was a source of regret to
thousands in the church. He retired from his long career
with an honorable discharge and the grateful apprecia-
tion of the entire Brotherhood.
He has been twice married. His first marriage was to
Mary S. Bishop in 1871. To this union were born four
children, one of whom is Elder James M. Moore of
Lanark, 111. He has followed his father in active service
in the church. His first wife died in 1888. He was
united in marriage to Phoebe Brower, daughter of Elder
George Brower, of Mexico, Ind. They are now living
at Sebring, Fla.
Peter Nead was born in Hagerstown, Maryland,
January 7, 1796. He received a good education for
his day. His grandfather, who was a Lutheran, as also
were his parents, wanted to educate young Peter to be a
Lutheran preacher. He declined the offer and later
learned the trade of a tanner. About this time he be-
came interested in his soul's welfare. He first joined the
Methodists and became a class-leader and a preacher
among them. He was not satisfied, however, with his
fraternity, and for a while became an independent
preacher. Then happening to read a pamphlet written by
one of the Brethren he became interested in their doc-
trine. A visit to a communion service further convinced
him that the Brethren's position was right. He at once
27« HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
joined the church and was soon put to the ministry. His
ability to preach in English caused his services to be in
demand. He married Elizabeth Yount of Rockingham
County, Va., in 1825. He taught school and conducted a
tanning business, while at the same time he was becoming
more actively engaged in his ministerial work. In 1840
he moved to Augusta County, Va., and three years later
to Botetourt County. In 1850 he located in the Lower
Stillwater church, near Dayton, Ohio, where he continued
to reside till his death, which occurred March 16, 1877.
Elder Nead was one of the most active writers of the
church of his day. In 1833 he wrote a book entitled
Primitive Christianity, which treated of the ordinances
and doctrines of the church. The work, which contained
138 pages, was much read. In 1845 he wrote another
book of about the same size on baptism and other sub-
jects. These two books were combined into one volume,
and with some additional writing were published as
Nead's Theology, in 1850. This book became a standard
work in the church. His last book, written in 1866, was
entitled Wisdom and Power of God as Displayed in Crea-
tion and Redemption. A little later he assisted in start-
ing the new church periodical, the Vindicator. Through
this he strongly opposed the changes that were taking
place in the church.
From his first acquaintance with the Brethren he al-
ways loved their principles and customs. His main pur-
pose in life was the welfare and purity of the church. He
was a diligent student of the Bible, an edifying preacher
and a safe man in counsel. He served on the Standing
Committee a number of times. He was fearless in de-
fending the truth as he saw it. He was a faithful shep-
herd to his home congregation and gave much assistance
to surrounding churches. His health remained good al-
most to the last, though he died at the ripe age of eighty-
one. By request he was buried in a plain coffin before the
funeral service, " For why," said he, " should the dead
body be taken to the meetinghouse? It can't hear." No
one was especially selected to preach, but the brethren
present improved the occasion.
James Quinter, 1816-1888. There is no name more
familiar in the history of the Brethren than that of James
Quinter. He was born in Philadelphia, the son of a day
laborer. The death of his father left young Quinter his
mother's only support when he was but thirteen. This
interfered with his school work, but what he lost in
school he made up by private study. He came under the
influence of the Brethren and was baptized in 1832.
From the very first he manifested much zeal and true
He began teaching school in 1834. In 1838 he was
called to the ministry. His deep religious life and his
intellectual attainments at once brought him into favor
with the Brethren. He had many calls for preaching.
In 1842 he accepted a call from the George's Creek
church, Fayette County. Here he taught school for a
number of years, but did effective work for the church.
His ministry was blessed with wonderful results. About
sixty persons were baptized here during the first six
months of his labors. Among them was John Wise, who
later became Brother Quinter's great colaborer.
At the Annual Meeting of 1855 he was appointed as-
sistant to Elder Henry Kurtz, who had for years been
writing clerk. He performed his work so well that he
was kept at this work for thirty consecutive years, save
one. Elder Kurtz, too, discovered the man whom he had
280 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
been wanting to assist him on the Gospel Visitor. Elder
Quinter now moved to Poland, Ohio, in 1856, and the
next year to Columbiana.
In 1861 he opened his school at New Vienna, Ohio, and
maintained it for three years. In 1866 he moved the
office of the Gospel Visitor to Covington, Ohio. In 1874
he purchased the entire interests of the Visitor and
Christian Family Companion and consolidated them. He
published this paper at Meyersdale, Pa., to which State he
returned after an absence of twenty years. In 1876 he
joined the Brumbaugh Bros, in the publishing business
and moved to Huntingdon, Pa., the home of his remain-
ing years. Here he edited the Primitive Christian until
1883, when he became the first editor of the Gospel Mes-
senger and remained such until his death.
During this time he also was wielding an influence for
higher education in the church. His first attempts had
not resulted in what he expected, though through no fault
of his own. In 1879 Professor J. M. Zuck, the founder
of Huntingdon Normal, died. The trustees at once
elected Brother Quinter president, a position which he
held the rest of his life.
However active he was along these intellectual lines,
he was just as active in church work. He was ordained
to the eldership in 1856. For thirty successive years, ex-
cept one, he was a member of the Standing Committee —
the longest service ever given by one man on that body.
His attainments made him the only choice of the brethren
for writing clerk. During these years he was sent on
dozens of committees to all parts of the Brotherhood.
There were but very few important committees of which
he was not a member. His great ability made him the
only choice of his brethren in defending the principles of
the church in public debate until R. H. Miller took up
that work. He had no particular liking for this work,
but felt it his duty to respond to the call. His earnest,
dignified, Christian spirit, as well as his ability in the
Bible and in knowledge of history, made him a strong
defender of the truth.
He had few equals in the pulpit. His sermons were
well prepared and delivered in the power of the Holy
Spirit. Many of them were preserved and edited, to-
gether with a history of his life, by his daughter, Mary N.
Quinter. Seldom did he pass a Sunday without preach-
ing. His sermons were addressed to the intelligence as
well as to the heart. He was especially influential with
people of superior culture.
His name was familiar wherever his brethren lived.
When a boy, the writer well remembers his desire to
attend the Annual Meeting at North Manchester, Ind.,
1888, that he might hear Elder Quinter preach. Hun-
dreds of others went to that Meeting with the same de-
sire. He was to preach in the tabernacle on Sunday
morning. On Saturday Brother Quinter arrived on the
grounds. In the afternoon he listened to a sermon by
Elder Daniel Vaniman. He closed the services by a few
fitting remarks and hymn, and then called to prayer.
While thus engaged in pouring out his heart to God the
heavenly messenger gave him the welcome to come home,
and amid the tears and sobs of a large audience and the
tender ministrations of loving hands, his spirit took its
flight. After a few appropriate and touching remarks
by Elder Enoch Eby, the remains were prepared for the
solemn journey to his home in Huntingdon, where he was
laid to rest. He left three daughters, the two younger,
Mary and Grace, being the children of a second marriage
212 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
to Fannie Studebaker, who also survived him. Mary
was the author and editor of her father's life and ser-
mons. For several years she was one of our faithful
missionaries in India. Grace is the wife of Professor
F. F. Holsopple. His eldest daughter, Lydia, became the
wife of Elder J. T. Myers in 1877.
For a complete history of his life read Life and Ser-
mons of Elder James Quinter, by Mary N. Quinter. For
shorter biographies see Some Who Led, pp. 97-102;
Thirty-Three Years of Missions, pp. 379-382.
John G. Royer was born in Union County, Pa., April
22, 1838. His family had descended from the French
Huguenots. One of the early members of this family
joined the Brethren at Conestoga in 1738. J. G. being
of weak physical build, was given some school advan-
tages. He attended an academy at Mifflinburg and a
seminary at New Berlin, Pa. He began teaching at six-
teen and continued in the profession fifty years. He be-
gan teaching in the Sunday-school in 1856 and was an
active Sunday-school worker the rest of his long and
December 8, 1861, he was married to Elizabeth Reiff.
In 1863 he moved to Darke County, Ohio, and eight years
later to White County, Ind. He taught at Burnetts
Creek a few years. In 1876 he was elected superintend-
ent of the Monticelio schools. He remained here until he
was called to the presidency of Mt. Morris College in
1884. Professor Royer was not the first of our school-
men, but he was the first to conduct a school with any
great success for many consecutive years. He was presi-
dent of Mt. Morris College twenty years. His influence
in the Brotherhood through the lives of his students is
Brother Royer was elected deacon in 1862. In 1871 he
was called to the ministry. He soon became a leader in
Middle Indiana and in the Brotherhood. He served four
times as writing clerk of the General Conference and was
active in directing its deliberations and decisions. After
his retirement from the presidency of Mt. Morris he spent
much time preaching among the churches and in holding
Bible institutes. He was ever entertaining and instruc-
tive in his preaching, which was generally of the teach-
ing type. As a teacher he was unique and usually put
his instruction in such a way that would be most forceful
and lasting. He was a good writer, too, often contribut-
ing to the church papers. For some years he wrote the
Christian Workers' outlines. His best known work is
The Sick, the Dying, and the Dead. He passed to his
reward January 25, 1917.
He was the father of eight children. The eldest daugh-
ter became the wife of Professor E. S. Young, founder
of the colleges at North Manchester and Canton and
author of many books on Bible study. The only son,
Galen B., is well known throughout the Brotherhood for
his long service as secretary of the General Mission
Board. — Brethren's Yearbook, 1919.
Daniel P. Sayler, 1811-1885. For almost a gener-
ation Daniel P. Sayler was one of the most influential
men in shaping the policies of the Annual Meeting.
His grandfather, Elder Daniel Sayler, and his uncle,
Elder Jacob Sayler, were active in the church. He
joined the church in 1837 and was called to the min-
istry in 1840. Though he hesitated to accept he
preached well from the first. In 1842, inside of three
months, under his preaching, ninety-two persons were
284 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
baptized in the Beaver Dam church, Md. He was or-
dained to the eldership May 7, 1850.
His work among the churches was so great that
only a man of his strong physical build could have en-
dured the stress. On horseback he made many long
missionary journeys to the churches, always paying
his own expenses. On these journeys he was often ac-
companied by Elder John H. Umstad of Pennsylvania.
Beginning in 1851 he served on the Standing Commit-
tee twenty-four times. Of that body he was frequent-
ly clerk or moderator.
Probably no man ever had a greater formative in-
fluence on the decisions of Annual Meeting than he.
He was devotedly attached to the principles of the
church, which he understood well. This, together with
his wide experience, enabled him to be of great serv-
ice to his brethren. In 1848 he framed the questions
that are still asked of applicants for baptism. In 1860
he was the chairman of a committee — Elders John
Kline, James Quinter and John Metzger being the oth-
er members — that presented to Annual Meeting an
excellent plan for missionary work. While it was not
accepted, it was placed on the minutes and evidently
helped to arouse the missionary spirit. One paragraph
of this report is worth repeating, because it recom-
mends our present plan of having District Meetings,
which was adopted in 1866 on the recommendation of
another committee, of which Elder Sayler was chair-
man ; and because it recommends the weekly offering,
which we have not yet been willing to try !
" The committee offers the following advice : That
the churches of the Brotherhood form themselves into
Districts, to meet as often as they may judge it neces-
sary to transact their business; that each of said Dis-
tricts have its treasury, and each of the churches which
form said Districts have its treasury, the former to be
supplied by the latter, and the latter to be supplied by
weekly contributions as directed by the Apostle Paul
(1 Cor. 16: 2): 'Upon the first day of the week let
every one of you lay by him in store, as God has pros-
pered him, that there be no gatherings when I come,'
a plan for raising pecuniary funds of divine appoint-
ment, and one which commends itself to our accept-
ance, both from its authority and excellency."
He served on many committees of importance like
this one. It would be hard to estimate the extent of
his influence. He was a close observer, a careful in-
vestigator and a fine organizer. Besides, he had the
natural ability and that fearless disposition that car-
ried out what he decided to be right. Though he was
very progressive in his views of missionary work,
Sunday-schools, education, etc., yet he had no sym-
pathy whatever with the so-called Progressive move-
ment. It was mostly through his influence that H. R.
Holsinger was not given more time at the Annual
Meeting of 1882.
He was a frequent contributor to the church papers.
He was one of the associate editors of the Pilgrim. He
was ever a strong opponent of slavery. The Union
men of Maryland desired to make him a member of
the Constitutional Convention of 1864, but he refused.
Though he spent much time for the church, yet he
prospered financially. He never wanted to be burden-
some to his brethren. He always paid his own way
to Annual Meeting, whether delegate or not. He was
twice married. His first wife died in 1874. His second
286 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
wife and a young babe survived his death, which oc-
curred June 6, 1885.
Solomon Z. Sharp, A. M., LL. D., son of Solomon
and Magdalena Sharp, was born December 21, 1835,
near Allenville, Huntingdon County, Pa. His parents
were of Swiss descent and members of the Amish
Mennonite Church, under whose strict discipline he
was brought up. His common-school attendance was
limited to twenty-one months, but when twelve years
old he decided to be a teacher. He did much private
study. He attended the State Normal School at Mil-
lersville, Pa., from which he graduated with the B. E.
degree in 1860; two years later he received the M. E.
degree. Later he received the A. M. degree from Jef-
ferson College, Pa.
He began teaching at the age of nineteen. He
bought a seminary at Kishacoquillas, Pa., and on April
1, 1861, started the first institution for higher learning
ever taught by a member of the Church of the Breth-
ren. This school was closed on account of the war
conditions. After teaching two years at the State
Normal at Millersville, he went in 1868 to Maryville,
Tenn., where he taught ten years in Maryville Col-
lege. At the same time he was active for the Brethren
in church work and was ordained to the eldership in
1868. During this time, too, he had taken some special
courses in science at the University of Cincinnati and
at Harvard. He was also elected a member of the
American Association for the Advancement of Science.
In 1878 he founded Ashland College, Ohio, and was
its president for three years. While here he began to
edit the first Sunday-school quarterly published by the
Brethren. From 1881 to 1888 he was at Mt. Morris,
where he taught in the college and engaged in church
work. When he left Mt. Morris, the college con-
ferred upon him the LL. D. degree. In 1888 he found-
ed McPherson College, and was its president eight
years. In 1894 he was elected State Geologist of
Kansas. From 1897 to 1900 he was president of Platts-
burg College, Mo. Since 1902 he has lived in Western
Colorado, where he has engaged actively in pastoral
work and has been the means of bringing many into
Dr. Sharp is indeed a pioneer and leader of many ac-
tivities of the Church of the Brethren. At his ad-
vanced age his body is still healthy and his mind vigor-
ous. He has been preparing a history of the educa-
tional work in the Church of the Brethren.
Wilbur B. Stover. To W. B. Stover the Church of
the Brethren will always be indebted for his part in
starting the work of missions in heathen lands. He
was born near Greencastle, Pa., May 5, 1866. The
death of his father in 1875 placed many of the family
burdens upon him. The Stover family moved to Du-
page County, 111., in 1879. In 1884 he entered Mt.
Morris College, where he remained several years,
completing three different courses.
In 1885 he confessed Christ and was received into
the church by baptism. From that time on his heart
seemed to be set on the great missionary duty of the
church. In 1891 he was called to the ministry. The
following year he accepted the pastorate at German-
town, Pa., but continued special study that would
give him greater preparation for his chosen field. In
1893 he was married to Mary Emmert of Mt. Carroll,
111. From that time on she has been his faithful assist-
288 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
ant in all of his mission labors. He spent the first year
after their marriage, in the churches, working up senti-
ment for the mission cause. In 1894 he and his wife
were appointed for the field.
Their sailing for India was of greatest importance
to the Church of the Brethren. It created an interest
in missions unknown before. To him was entrusted
the work of opening the great foreign field. He did
his work well. He founded the work at Bulsar, India,
and later took charge of the work at Anklesvar. In
many ways he has been looked to as the father of the
India Mission. That Brother and Sister Stover have
deepest concern for the field, and willingness to sacri-
fice for it, is shown by the fact that they were willing
to return to the work for the third time, though it
meant for them to leave three of their five children in
America to be educated.
Brother Stover was ordained to the eldership in
1901. He served on the Standing Committee in 1902
and 1913. Three books are the products of his pen :
Charlie Newcomer, India, a Problem, and Missions and
L. W. Teeter. For a generation the name of Elder
L. W. Teeter of Hagerstown, Ind., has been familiar
in the Church of the Brethren. He was born in Wayne
County, Ind., October 15, 1845. He received a good
common school education, and for a while attended the
Newcastle Academy. He acquired good and regular
habits of study, which he has kept throughout his busy
life. In 1866 he was married to a daughter of David
Bowman. This connected him with that Bowman
family which has given so many ministers to the
In 1866 he united with the Church of the Brethren.
In 1869 he was elected deacon, and was called to the
ministry September 9, 1876. He took great interest
in the work of the church and has served in almost
every possible capacity. He soon became a successful
evangelist and spent much time in the field. He was
ordained to the eldership October 15, 1885. On the
same day he was given charge of the Nettle Creek
church, over which he has presided with a fatherly
care for a generation. This church is the largest in
Southern Indiana, and one of the largest in the Broth-
erhood. Its continued prosperity is evidence of his
success as a leader. Not only in his church, but in his
home community he is looked to as a spiritual father.
In his State District he has been a leader. He served
twelve times as writing clerk of the District Meeting
and thirteen times as moderator. He has represented
his District twelve times on the Standing Committee.
He was moderator of the Annual Conference in 1897,
and twice served as reading clerk. He has been a
member of many of the most important committees
appointed by the Conference for more than thirty
years. He served twelve years on the General Mission
Board. For thirteen years he has been one of the trus-
tees of Manchester College, in which institution he has
taken a deep interest.
During his ministry he has preached nearly four
thousand sermons and more than four hundred funer-
als. He has been quite active with the pen. He was a
regular contributor to our church papers for many
years. His ready pen and thorough knowledge of the
Scriptures caused the church to look to him to furnish
a commentary of the New Testament. This he com-
290 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
pleted in 1894, after almost four years of labor. For
five years he was editor of the Brethren's Sunday-
There are few men in the Church of the Brethren
who have served in so many different positions and
with such general satisfaction. He is still vigorous
and active and takes a great interest in all the work
of the church.
Daniel Vaniman was born in Montgomery County,
Ohio, February fourth, 1835. He was raised on a farm
and did not have many educational advantages; yet by
careful study he acquired sufficient knowledge to teach
school. Not content with a knowledge of common school
subjects, he continued his study in higher branches until
he became a man of wide learning. He had a feeling
when young that he would sometime be elected to the
ministry, and quietly made preparation for the important
work that was placed upon him in 1865. At this time he
lived in Macoupin County, 111. In 1876 he was ordained
to the eldership and soon became a leader in Southern
Illinois, and well known all over the Brotherhood.
He was an enthusiastic advocate of missionary work
and better methods for work at home. He was for
several years a member of the Book and Tract Com-
mittee, which was organized in 1885 and consolidated
with the General Church Erection and Missionary
Committee in 1894. It did a great work in spreading
the Gospel through the means of distributing tracts
and books. He helped to originate and formulate
some of our best plans for missionary work. He was
foreman of many important committees, one of which
proposed the present plan of holding our Annual
Meetings. For several years he was the traveling
secretary for the General Mission Board, and raised
thousands of dollars of endowment. In this work he
visited the churches in all parts of the United States.
Brother Vaniman served several times on the Stand-
ing Committee. He was moderator of the Conference
three times. In characterizing his ability Elder D. L.
Miller says : " He was a man with the remarkable
gift of saying more in a few words than any public
speaker or writer I ever knew. At Hagerstown, Md.,
he revolutionized the manner of presiding at our Con-
ferences. He taught the lesson, not since forgotten,
that the business of a moderator is not speechmaking,
but giving his full attention to looking after the Con-
ference. He was a man of system and methods, and
did not fail to use them. He wrote the ' Plan for
General Mission Work ' adopted by the Conference,
and to him more than to any other member of the
board is due the credit of opening up the India Mission
Brother Vaniman was twice married. His first wife,
whose maiden name was Maria Kimmel, became the
mother of the late A. W. Vaniman, and soon after died
of consumption. In 1861 he married Sister Stutsman,
of Elkhart, Ind. She and six daughters survived his
death, which occurred very suddenly at McPherson,
Kans., November 15, 1903. He had moved from Illi-
nois to McPherson because he desired to enjoy an
educational environment and to help build up the col-
John Wise, 1822-1909, was born in western Penn-
sylvania in 1822. He received a good education in his
youth. He began teaching when he was eighteen and
taught about thirty terms in Pennsylvania and Texas.
292 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
He was baptized June 14, 1842, under the preaching of
Elder James Quinter. He was elected to the ministry
the next year. During his early ministry-he was often
associated with Brother Quinter, to whom he looked
for advice as a son would to his father. He was or-
dained to the eldership in 1854.
Brother Wise was small of stature, yet he possessed
a remarkable voice. This, together with his good edu-
cation and great knowledge of the Scriptures, caused
his services to be useful to the church in many ways.
He was probably the best reading clerk that ever
served the Annual Meeting. He was reading clerk
fifteen times and moderator in 1885. He served on
many important committees, including the Berlin
Committee, that disfellowshiped H. R. Holsinger in
1881, and the committee on the divorce question, 1888-
1891, in which he made a firm stand against the posi-
tion of Elder R. H. Miller.
He was a very forceful speaker in the pulpit. His
travels were very extensive, amounting to as much as
fifteen thousand miles in one year. In 1881 he, in com-
pany with Brother David Ruple, spent forty days
among the River Brethren of Canada. They were con-
sidering the advisability of a union between the River
Brethren and the Church of the Brethren. The visit
was a pleasant one, though the union was never
brought about. About thirty years ago he moved
from Pennsylvania to Iowa, and later to Kansas,
where he died June 26, 1909, at the age of eighty-sev-
en years, having served in the ministry two-thirds of a
century. Several years before his death he lost his
sight, but had partially regained it before his death.
George Wolfe was born in Lancaster County, Penn-
sylvania, April 25, 1780. His father, Elder George
Wolfe, crossed the Allegheny Mountains to western
Pennsylvania in 1787, and after thirteen years of labor
he moved his family to Kentucky, where he continued
to reside until 1809, when he died on his homeward
journey from an extensive preaching tour in Missouri
and Illinois. George Wolfe, Jr., was married in Ken-
tucky in 1803 and in 1808, accompanied by his brother,
he moved to southwestern Illinois. In 1812 he and
thirteen of his friends and neighbors were baptized by
Elder John Hendricks of Kentucky. In the same year
Brother Wolfe was called to the ministry, and the
next year ordained to the eldership. Then, for more
than fifty years, he was an untiring worker among the
pioneers and was the chief factor in the establishment
of many churches. He possessed marvelous ability,
was an eloquent pulpit orator, a profound reasoner in
debate and discourse, a constant reader who acquired
a vast amount of knowledge, and a Christian whose
integrity was never questioned.
He did not attend the Annual Meetings, and so did
not influence directly the decisions of that body ; but
indirectly he did. The Far Western Brethren, as Elder
Wolfe and his followers were known to the East, prac-
ticed the single mode of feet-washing, had no inter-
mission between the Lord's supper and the commun-
ion, and allowed the sisters to break the bread and pass
the cup the same as the brethren. In 1856 he had a
long conference with a committee from Annual Meet-
ing and agreed " to conform to the practice of the
Brethren in general, when in communion meeting with
them, and begged forbearance on the part of the breth-
ren in general until they all should come to see alike."
294 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
This forbearance was granted, but the conviction
gradually took hold on the Eastern Brethren that the
single mode of feet-washing, as practiced by the West-
ern Brethren, was right, and the practice spread until
it has become the general order of the church. Elder
George Wolfe died in 1865, at the ripe old age of
References and Readings
These twenty-five brethren whose biographies are here given
are only " some who led." Lack of space in this book makes
it necessary to refer the student to other works for biographies
of such leaders as I. D. Parker, W. R. Deeter, Christian Hope,
John P. Ebersole, Jacob Berkey, Isham Gibson, Hiel Hamil-
ton, S. S. Mohler, Daniel Hays, A. H. Puterbaugh, Isaac Price,
John Umstad, William Howe, D. B. Sturgis, J. S. Snyder,
George Zollers, Jacob Zuck, C. E. Arnold, B. F. Heckman, and
as many others. The student is referred to District and State
histories for biographies of those connected with the territory
these books cover. The following general references contain
many biographies of our church leaders :
Some Who Led, by D. L. Miller and Galen B. Royer.
Thirty-three Years of Missions, by Galen B. Royer.
Brethren's Family Almanacs.
The student of the history and doctrines of the Church
of the Brethren will be interested in securing a library of
the books that have been written on the various subjects.
For this reason the following paragraphs are given. The
list is not complete, but includes the chief ones used in
the preparation of this book.
History of the German Baptist Brethren in Europe and
America, by Martin Grove Brumbaugh, A. M., Ph. D.
1899. Brethren Publishing House, Elgin, 111., thirteen
chapters, 559 pages, 80 illustrations. This is generally
considered the standard work on the early history of the
church. The first twelve chapters deal wholly with the
history of the church in the seventeenth century. The
last chapter gives a number of historical incidents, with
a brief sketch of the doctrines and ordinances of the
The Junkers and the Brethren Church, by H. R. Hol-
singer. Published by the author. 1901. Eight hundred
and twenty-eight pages, dealing with the origin, doctrine,
biography and literature of the church. It gives a very
full account of the division of the church in 1881 and
1882. The largest part of the book then deals with the
Progressive Brethren Church, in which the author was
an organizer and leader. But the Old Order Brethren
and the Church of the Brethren each have much histor-
ical material given about them. Chapter 4 gives a trans-
296 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
lation of Alexander Mack's book on Rites and Ordi-
Two Centuries of the Church of the Brethren, or Be-
ginnings of the Brotherhood. Bicentennial Addresses at
the Annual Conference at Des Moines, Iowa, in 1908.
Published by authority of the Conference by Brethren
Publishing House. Twenty-three of the ablest speakers
in the Brotherhood present the history and growth of the
church, its doctrines, ordinances, piety, spiritual life, its
attitude on moral issues, Sunday-schools, missions, edu-
cation, publications, philanthropies, and some of the
History of the German Baptist Brethren Church, by
G. N. Falkenstein. 1901. New Era Printing Company,
Lancaster, Pa. This book is reprinted from the Pennsyl-
vania German Society Annual of 1900. Twelve chap-
ters, 154 pages, deal with the history of the church in
the seventeenth century. The book gives an exception-
ally good account o"f the Germantown church, of which
Elder Falkenstein was pastor at the time he wrote this
Record of the Faithful, by Howard Miller, of Lewis-
burg, Pa. One hundred pages. A book of very useful
data collected at that time, giving names of local congre-
gations in every State District, the date of organization,
the number of members when organized, the number of
members in 1881. It also gives some history of the
church up to that time. The book is not now in print and
copies of it are hard to get.
Thirty-Three Years of Missions, by Galen B. Royer,
secretary of the General Mission Board for thirty years.
1913. Brethren Publishing House. Four hundred and
forty-eight pages. The most complete history of our
mission work, including the various plans of work, the
organization of the General Board, the organization and
progress of the work in the various foreign fields, and
much of the work in the homeland. Biographies are
given of all those who have served on the General Mis-
sion Board and of all those who had been appointed
missionaries up to 1913.
Minutes of the Annual Meetings from 1778-1909 by
the General Mission Board. 1909. Brethren Publishing
House. This book, together with the Minutes from 1910
to the present, gives the largest source of original data to
be found on the work of the church, especially on church
doctrines, ordinances, polity, Christian life and worship.
Very complete lists of all members of the Standing Com-
mittee, regular and special committees. There are no
minutes available before 1778, and from 1778 to 1830
the minutes of twenty-one Conferences are missing.
Literary Activity of the German Baptist Brethren in
the Eighteenth Century, by John S. Flory, Ph. D. 1908.
Brethren Publishing House. Three hundred and thirty-
five pages. A well-written, scholarly and very complete
account of the Brethren in the eighteenth century.
Since the Brethren did such excellent work at that time,
this book is of more than ordinary interest and value.
The Dunkers: A Sociological Interpretation, by John
Lewis Gillin. New York. 1906. Two hundred and forty
pages. This book is the result of an attempt of this stu-
dent and teacher of sociology to apply the principles of
sociological theory to the interpretation of the Brethren.
From this point of view it is interesting and scholarly,
though no great attempt is made to give many connected
298 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
The Brethren's Reasons. This was a booklet of fifty-
three pages, published in 1883 by a committee represent-
ing the Old Order Brethren. This committee stated that
" the object and purpose of this pamphlet is to show how
frequently the Brethren did petition the Annual Meeting
to put away the new and fast movements of the church,
and to explain and set forth the reasons and grounds for
producing and adopting the Resolutions of August 24,
1881." As the committee states, the pamphlet is a collec-
tion of different petitions to Annual Meetings and their
failures to secure decisions to please them. It is the best
statement we have of their reasons why the Old Order
Brethren left the church and organized another frater-
The Doctrine of the Brethren Defended, by Elder R.
H. Miller. 1876. Brethren Publishing House. Four
hundred and four pages. A book dealing with the sub-
jects of the Divinity of Christ, Divinity of the Holy
Spirit, Baptism, Feet-washing, Lord's Supper, the Holy
Kiss, Nonconformity, and Secret Societies. Perhaps no
other book gives such an exhaustive and clear-cut state-
ment of the church doctrines and ordinances.
The Great Redemption, by Quincy Leckrone. 1898.
College Printing Press, North Manchester, Ind. Two
hundred and eighty-six pages. A general survey of the
doctrines and ordinances of the Church of the Brethren.
Trine Immersion, by James Quinter. Three hundred
and sixty-nine pages. Brethren Publishing House. The
most complete and exhaustive study of this one subject
in Brethren literature.
Tracts and Pamphlets. A compilation of more than
sixty different tracts and pamphlets dealing with almost
every form of the beliefs and practices of the Brethren.
For those who want any of the subjects briefly outlined,
the book is quite valuable.
The Church Manual, by H. B. Brumbaugh. 1893.
Brethren Publishing House. Sixty-four pages. It con-
tains a declaration of faith, including a statement of the
practices of the church, rules and formulas for conduct-
ing various kinds of services. It has been a very helpful
little book for our ministers.
New Testament Commentary, by L. W. Teeter. 1894.
Brethren Publishing House. Two volumes. While these
volumes are a general commentary on the New Testa-
ment, the author naturally gives interpretations in har-
mony with the beliefs of the Brethren church, of which
he is a faithful representative.
New Testament Doctrines, by J. H. Moore, former
office editor of the Gospel Messenger. 1914. Brethren
Publishing House. One hundred and ninety-two pages.
One hundred different topics pertaining to the doctrines
and ordinances of the church are discussed. These topics
are all discussed in an interesting manner. There are no
theological terms that would prevent the ordinary reader
getting the meaning. Elder Moore's long service in the
editorial chair and his very intimate acquaintance with
the doctrines and practice of the church make his book
of much interest to those who would get this information
in a brief way.
Fundamental Doctrines of Faith, an outline by Daniel
Webster Kurtz, A. M., D. D., president of McPherson
College. 1912. Brethren Publishing House. Sixty
pages. Ten chapters dealing with the doctrines of God,
Man, Sin, Christ, Salvation, Church, Symbols, Non-
conformity, Christian Life, and the Scriptures. Though
professing to be only an outline, the terse language in
300 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
which it is written, and the numerous references to the
Scriptures make it a book of much value to the student.
God's Means of Grace, by C. F. Yoder. Brethren
Publishing House. 1908. Seven chapters, 631 pages. A
scholarly and very complete exposition of ordinances and
many of the doctrines which the (Progressive) Brethren
Church and the Church of the Brethren hold in common.
Six groups of three symbols each set forth the most
fundamental teachings of the church.
Rites and Ordinances, by Alexander Mack, Sr. In
1713, at Schwarzenau, two small works were published,
the beginning of our Brethren literature. Forty ques-
tions had been prepared by able men of opposing churches
and sent to the Brethren for answers. The questions
dealt with questions of the Brethren's faith and practice,
especially concerning baptism. Alexander Mack an-
swered each question frankly and with such wisdom and
clearness that the critics seemed to be satisfied for the
time being. The church was so well pleased with the
result that it decided to publish both questions and an-
swers and distribute them for the information of friends
and neighbors. At the same time Alexander Mack wrote
a more extended account of the faith and practice of the
church. It was written under the form of a conversa-
tion between a father and a son, in which the father in-
structs his son concerning the faith and practice of the
church. These works were published in the Gospel
Visitor of 1854, and were spoken of as " the most ancient
document of our Fraternity." They are also found on
pages 45 to 117 of Holsinger's History of the Tunkers.
Elder John Kline, Life and Labors, by Benjamin Funk,
who collected the material from the diary of Elder Kline.
1900. Brethren Publishing House. 480 pages. The
book not only contains much history about one of the
great leaders of the church, but much valuable informa-
tion about other men and about the work of the church
recorded by an eyewitness.
Life of Uncle John Metzger, by M. M. Eshelman.
Brethren Publishing House. 1898. Sixty- four pages. A
very interesting story of this saintly man of God.
Life and Sermons of Elder James Quinter, by Mary N.
Quinter. 1891. Brethren Publishing House. The vol-
ume contains a very complete history of the life of, and
many of the best sermons preached by, this gifted leader
of the church.
Life of R. H. Miller, by Otho Winger. 1910. Breth-
ren Publishing House. Two hundred and sixty-nine
pages. It contains a complete life of this able and versa-
tile leader. It also gives many facts of church history
that would naturally come in connection with the biogra-
phy of one whose life was inseparably connected with the
work of the church. The volume contains some of Elder
Miller's best sermons and editorials.
Some Who Led, by D. L. Miller and Galen B. Royer.
1912. Brethren Publishing House. Two hundred and
thirty-three pages. Sixty-four biographies of the leaders
of the church during two centuries. A book of intense
interest and of much historical value.
Southern California, by a committee, M. M. Eshelman,
chairman. One hundred and eighty-five pages. A his-
tory of each congregation and biographies of the leaders
of the District. A full history of La Verne College.
Idaho and Western Montana, by A. I. Mow. 1914.
Forty-eight pages. A booklet describing the planting and
growth of the church in these Western States.
302 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Indiana History of the Church of the Brethren, by
Otho Winger. Brethren Publishing House, Elgin, 111.
1917. Eight chapters, 479 pages. A complete history of
the church in this State, a sketch of each congregation,
an account of the organization of the Districts, with
something of the work of each District, an account of the
thirteen Annual Meetings held in the State, sketches of
all the missionaries gone from the State, a history of
Bourbon and Manchester Colleges and biographies of the
leading men and women of the State.
Southern Illinois, by a committee of three, Elder D. B.
Gibson, chairman. 1907. A brief sketch of each con-
gregation and the official minutes of the District Meet-
ings from 1866 to 1907. These records are valuable be-
cause of the information given about some very promi-
nent men in the church.
Middle Iowa, by a committee, J. S. Snyder, chairman.
1907. Eighty-eight pages. A brief history of the plant-
ing of the church in Iowa. The minutes of the State
District, before division into Districts. Minutes of
Middle Iowa, 1870-1907.
Northeastern Ohio, by T. S. Moherman and A. W.
Harold. 1914. Brethren Publishing House. Three hun-
dred and sixty-six pages. A complete history of the Dis-
trict, giving a history of each congregation and its most
noted leaders, accounts of all their District Meetings and
of the Annual Meetings held in the District, of the vari-
ous activities of the District, including the beginning of
the Gospel Visitor and the organization of Ashland and
Eastern Pennsylvania, published by a committee of
five: S. R. Zug, John Herr, G. N. Falkenstein, J. G.
Francis and D. C. Reber. 1915. New Era Printing
Company, Lancaster, Pa. Six hundred and seventy pages.
Our largest District history, and especially valuable be-
cause of the history of all the colonial churches in Penn-
sylvania. The congregational history is given in groups
under the head of the mother congregation from which
they originated. Under miscellaneous matter there is a
history of District, missionary, ministerial and Sunday-
school meetings, with various tables of interest. There
are one hundred and fifteen illustrations, though to our
disappointment no pictures of the men who helped to
make the church what it is.
Western Pennsylvania, by J. E. Blough. 1916. Breth-
ren Publishing House. Six hundred pages. A very com-
plete history of this large District. Each congregation
has its history. The District Meetings are recorded and
very full accounts of the missionary, Sunday-school and
educational activities. There are nearly three hundred
pages of biographies, with many illustrations and photo-
graphs of interest and value.
A History of the Brethren in Virginia, by Elder D. H.
Zigler. 1908. Brethren Publishing House. Two hun-
dred and seventy-eight pages. A brief but general his-
tory of the founding and development of the church in
Virginia. It gives an excellent account of the experi-
ences of the church during the Civil War. It contains
biographical sketches, congregational sketches, accounts
of State District organizations and of the various activi-
ties of the church.
Other District Histories will soon be in press. There
is much interest being taken in searching for historical
data pertaining to the organization and work of the
church in various States. In a few years the student will
304 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
have access to much material that is now being collected
The Church Publications, including the Gospel Mes-
senger, earlier church papers, the Almanacs and Year-
books, the Missionary Visitor, Sunday-school papers,
Annual Conference Reports, etc., contain some of the
very best source material pertaining to doctrine, polity
and history of the church. Wherever these publications
are available the student should seek to become some-
what acquainted with them.
Review Questions on Chapters
Origin of the Church of the Brethren in Europe
1. What was the Protestant Reformation? Name some of
2. Name the state churches in Germany recognized by the
Treaty of Westphalia. What restrictions were placed upon
those who did not agree with these churches?
3. Who were the Pietists? Name some of the leading Pietists.
4. Who was the founder of the Church of the Brethren? How
was he influenced by the Pietists?
5. When and where was the Church of the Brethren or-
ganized? Why was the Church of the Brethren organized?
Tell about the first baptism. Name the first eight members of
6. Tell of the growth and persecution of the Schwarzenau
congregation. Where did the Schwarzenau congregation move?
7. Name three other congregations organized in Germany.
8. Tell about the persecutions and internal troubles of the
Creyfeld congregation. When and where did most of the Crey-
feld congregation move?
9. Tell about the congregation at Westervain, Holland. When
and where did this congregation emigrate?
10. Name the leaders of the Church of the Brethren in Ger-
Establishing the Church in America
1. Tell about the two emigrations of Brethren from Europe
to America in 1719 and 1729.
2. What was the first Brethren congregation in America?
Name the first members baptized at Germantown.
3. Tell about the missionary party of 1723. What two con-
gregations were organized on this journey?
306 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
4. Who was Conrad Beissel?
5. Tell about the organization of the Ephrata Society. What
effect did this movement have on the early Church of the Breth-
ren? How did it affect the Germantown church?
6. What two able men were called to the ministry at German-
town in 1748? Describe the houses of worship at Germantown.
7. What able men served the Coventry church as ministers?
8. What was the largest colonial church? Name two of the
9. Name and locate, by counties, twelve colonial congrega-
tions. Name the leading ministers in these churches.
10. What is especially interesting about the Antietam church?
Stony Creek? Who was the elder at Amwell, N. J.?
11. Name two churches in Maryland and the elders who
12. What can you say of the growth of the church from 1719
The Colonial Church
1. What can you say about the hospitality of the Brethren ?
What kind of neighbors were they?
2. How did the early church help her poor members?
3. What industries did the Brethren engage in? Name some
of the different things done by Christopher Sower, Sr.
4. What was the importance of the Sower printing press?
Name some of the early publications. Tell about the publication
of the German Bible.
5. To what extent did the Brethren engage in literary work?
Name the chief writers.
6. Who organized the first Sunday-school in America? What
was the educational influence of the Sower printing press? What
part did the Brethren take in the Germantown Academy?
7. Who was Count Zinzendorf? Tell about his attempt to
organize the German churches in Pennsylvania. What part did
the Brethren take in this movement? Who called the first An-
nual Meeting of the Church of the Brethren? What question
was most likely discussed?
REVIEW QUESTIONS 307
8. When and where was Alexander Mack born? Why did he
decide to organize a new church? What two books did he
write? When did he come to America? Tell all you can about
9. When and where was Peter Becker born? Where did he
join the Brethren? Why did he leave Creyfeld? What great
service did he perform for the church in America? Why should
the 1919 Conference be named in his memory?
10. Give a brief biography of Elder John Naas.
11. When and where was Alexander Mack, Jr., born? Tell
about his connection with the Ephrata Society. Tell about his
work as a minister for the Brethren. What was his ability as
12. When and where was Christopher Sower, Sr., born?
What about his education? What can you say about his fam-
ily? What did he accomplish in the printing business? What
other activities did he engage in?
13. How well did Christopher Sower, Jr., continue his fa-
ther's business? What misfortune overtook him during the
Revolutionary War? (See Brumbaugh, pp. 413-423.) Where
did he spend his last days?
14. Give brief biographies of the two Martin Urners.
15. Name the two able bishops of Conestoga.
16. For what is Elder John Jacob Price remembered?
17. What about the extent and influence of the work of Elder
18. How did others look at the Brethren in those days?
Expansion and Growth
The reader and student should be able to tell some of the
following facts about the organization and growth of the church
in the different States and Districts :
When was the church organized in this section?
Who were the leaders in the early settlements?
Name some of the early congregations.
Tell about the growth and present size of the church.
308 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
Some of the church leaders the section has produced.
What has the State or District done in missions, education,
Disunion and Divisions
1. Why was the Ephrata Society called the Seventh Day Ger-
man Baptists? Who was its founder? In what ways did these
people resemble the Brethren? Who was Peter Miller? Where
is Snow Hill Nunnery? What of the present condition of this
2. What were some of the differences between the Far West-
ern Brethren and the body of the church? Who were some of
the leaders among them? How and when was a reunion ef-
3. Who was the founder of the New Dunkers? Where and
for what purpose was the Special Annual Meeting of 1848 held?
When did the New Dunkers organize? What has been the
growth of their church?
4. Who was Elder John A. Bowman? Tell about his fol-
lowers and how they were united with the church.
5. Who were the Leedy Brethren?
6. When did the Old Order element in the church begin to
give trouble? Name some of their grievances presented to the
Conference of 1869. How did the Conference answer the plain-
tiffs? Where did the petition of 1879 originate? How did the
Annual Meeting of 1880 answer these complaints? How did
the Annual Meeting of 1881 deal with these questions? When
and where was the Old Order church organized? How many
were lost to the church in this movement? Review the reasons
why the Old Order Brethren left the church.
7. Who was the leader in the Progressive movement? What
were some of his complaints against the church? In what
ways did he offend the body of the church? Who composed
the Berlin Committee? What was their action concerning H. R.
Holsinger? How did the Annual Meeting of 1882 deal with
their report? When and where was the Progressive Church or-
ganized? What has been its growth since then?
REVIEW QUESTIONS 309
8. Why did these differences and divisions occur?
9. How can similar ones be avoided in the future?
10. Of what value is the history of these divisions?
11. What about the growth of the Church of the Brethren
since the divisions?
The Church and Missions
1. What was the missionary spirit of the colonial church?
2. What were the missionary spirit and efforts of the church
during the first half of the nineteenth century?
3. Tell about the first efforts in Annual Meeting to secure
4. Who was Christian Hope? Tell how he found the Breth-
ren. How did Northern Illinois respond to his call for help
for Denmark? Who were our first missionaries to Denmark?
5. Name the members of the first Foreign Mission Board ap-
pointed by the church. How long did this board serve?
6. Who were the members of the board of 1884? What was
its purpose? When was the first missionary meeting held at
the Annual Meeting?
7. Who were the leaders in beginning the use of tracts? Tell
about the work of the Book and Tract Committee.
8. When were the Missionary Committee and the Book and
Tract Committee combined? What name was given it? What
is its present name?
9. Describe the founding of the mission in India. Name the
missionaries sent to India. Who have died on the field of serv-
ice? Name and locate the mission stations in India.
10. Describe the founding of the mission in China. Name the
missionaries sent to China. Who has died on the field of serv-
ice? Name and locate the mission stations in China.
11. How has the work prospered in Denmark and Sweden?
Name the missionaries sent to these fields.
12. Tell about the Smyrna mission.
13. What places in America have received special help from
the General Mission Board?
14. What has been done by District Mission Boards?
15. Tell how the missionary endowment has grown.
310 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
16. What about the growth of missionary sentiment in the
Church of the Brethren as judged by the Annual Meeting of-
17. What are mission goals of the Forward Movement?
18. How has the Ministerial and Missionary Relief fund been
19. What has been accomplished by the Missionary Educa-
20. What has been done by the church in tract distribution?
21. Name the members who have served on the General Mis-
22. What important service has Elder Galen B. Royer given
to the church?
1. What about the interest of the Brethren in the press in
colonial days? Why did this interest decline during the first
half of the nineteenth century?
2. What was the first regular church paper among the Breth-
ren? When did it begin? Where was it published? Who was
the editor? Who soon became assistant? How long did it
3. Tell where, when and by whom the following periodicals
were published and what became of them: Christian Family
Companion, Primitive Christian, the Pilgrim, the Brethren at
4. When and where was the Gospel Messenger started? Who
have been its editors? Who made the paper a financial success?
5. What can you say about the following periodicals : The
Vindicator? The Brethren's Advocate? The Deacon? The Land-
6. Name the leading papers that have been published for the
young people and the Sunday-schools.
7. Tell about the growth and development of the Brethren
Publishing House. Who is its present business manager? What
about the success of the business today?
8. What is the Gish Publishing Fund?
REVIEW QUESTIONS 311
9. Name some Brethren authors. Give names of some of
10. Name the present editors of the church periodicals.
The Church and Education
1. What interest did the colonial church take in education?
Who was Sister Sarah Douglas?
2. Why was there so little interest in education during the
first half of the nineteenth century? Who were some of our
3. When did the educational spirit revive? What did An-
nual Meeting of 1858 say about private schools? Tell about
the school at New Vienna, Ohio ; at Kishacoquillas, Pa.
4. Give an account of the founding of Bourbon College. What
was the importance of this movement?
5. Name some private schools conducted by the Brethren.
6. Tell something of the former colleges at Fruitdale and
Citronelle, Ala.. Plattsburg, Mo., Canton, Ohio, Berean Bible
7. Tell about the founding of Ashland College and how it
was lost by the Church of the Brethren.
8. About each of the present Brethren schools give some of
the following facts : Name and locate each. When and by
whom founded? Names of presidents and others prominent in
the school work. The growth in buildings and endowment. The
territory of each school.
9. When were the Visiting Boards appointed for the schools?
What was their work? When was the present General Educa-
tional Board appointed ? Name the members who have served
on this board.
10. Name the educational goals of the Forward Movement
1. When did the Brethren begin the Sunday-school? How
was it conducted? Who was Lewis Hacker? What did Chris-
topher Sower do for this movement?
312 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
2. Give the growth in sentiment in Annual Meeting for Sun-
3. Name some of the early Sunday-schools and who led them.
When did Sunday-schools begin to grow rapidly?
4. Name the editors of our Sunday-school quarterlies. Name
our present Sunday-school publications.
5. When was the Sunday-school Advisory Committee appoint-
ed? What was its work? What is the work of the present
Sunday School Board? Name the members who have served
on the Sunday School Board.
6. Name the goals of the Brethren Sunday-schools in the
1. When did the Annual Meetings begin? When do we have
official records beginning? Name some of the leaders of the
Annual Meetings in the eighteenth century. Name the leaders
in the Annual Meetings in the nineteenth century.
2. When was the first Annual Meeting held west of the Ohio
River? When and where was the first Annual Meeting held
west of the Mississippi River? Where have been favorite places
in recent years for holding Annual Meetings? Where have
Special Annual Meetings been held?
3. What was formerly the time of year for holding the Con-
ference? What regulation do we have now as to time?
4. What is the Standing Committee? How was it formerly
chosen? How is it chosen today? What are the duties and
work of the Standing Committee?
5. Who constitutes the voting body at the Annual Meeting?
How are these delegates chosen? What qualifications must they
6. Describe how the business sessions of the Annual Meeting
7. Tell something of how Conferences were conducted in
1850. Name some respects in which the Annual Meetings of
those days differed from those of today.
8. Describe the Becker Bicentennial Conference.
REVIEW QUESTIONS 313
1. What form of church government does the Church of
the Brethren have?
2. What is the highest authority in the church?
3. What is the purpose of the District Meeting? Name some
of the things done by District Meeting.
4. What is the work of the Elders' Meeting?
5. Name some of the activities carried on by the local con-
6. What is the right way to settle all trouble between brother
7. What is the purpose of the Annual Church Visit?
8. What are the duties of the deacon?
9. How does the Church of the Brethren secure her ministry?
Name the qualifications and duties of ministers and elders.
10. What are the duties of the District Ministerial Board?
Christian Life and Worship
1. What conditions in Germany led to the organization of the
Church of the Brethren?
2. What has been the teaching of the Brethren on war? How
do the Brethren seek to show their loyalty to the country?
3. What has been the position of the church on voting and
officeholding? What changes are manifest concerning these
4. What record do the Brethren have on the question of
5. What has been the position of the church on the use of, or
traffic in, alcoholic beverages? What has the church done in
the temperance reform?
6. What does the church ask of her members on the using,
selling, or raising of tobacco?
7. How should Christians dress? What instruction did the
decision of 1911 have about dress? What is the purpose of the
Committee on Dress Reform?
8. What does the church teach about the legal oath?
314 HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
9. What is the attitude of the church toward secret societies?
10. To what extent does the church allow divorce and re-
marriage? What is the church doing in the purity reform
11. What should be the attitude of Christians towards world-
12. What has the church done in caring for the aged and or-
13. Tell something of the. work of the Sisters' Aid Society.
What is the purpose of the Christian Workers?
14. Give some general characteristics of Brethren worship.
15. What is the teaching and custom of the church about the
sisters' prayer veil?
16. What have been the social and spiritual results of the
Church Doctrine* and Ordinances
1. What is the position of the Church of the Brethren on the
doctrines of Christian faith?
2. What importance does the church give to the teachings
of the Scriptures?
3. Name some characteristics and attributes of God.
4. Give some of the characteristics of Jesus Christ. What is
his relation to God? To man? What is the importance of his
5. Give some of the characteristics and offices of the Holy
6. What is meant by the Holy Trinity? What is the rela-
tionship of these three Persons to one another?
7. Give the characteristics of man. What is his relationship
to God? To man? To nature? What is to be his destiny?
8. What is sin? How did it originate? What has been its
effect upon man?
9. What is the supreme need of the world? What is God's
part in salvation? Christ's part? Man's part? What is the
importance. of faith and obedience in salvation?
REVIEW QUESTIONS 315
10. What is the church? What three figures express the na-
ture of the church ? What are the chief duties and activities
of the church?
11. What is the meaning of baptism? What is the mode of
Christian baptism ? What questions do the applicants answer
12. What is the significance of the feet- washing service?
13. What is meant by the Lord's supper?
14. What is the great importance of the bread and cup?
15. What is the form of Christian greeting?
16. Why do the Brethren observe the anointing service?
17. What all does the simple life mean?
18. In what sense are God's people a separate people?
19. What is the importance of the doctrine of love?
Under each biography the student should be able to tell some-
thing about each of the following:
When and where born.
Early life experience and education.
Marriage and family.
Uniting with the church and call to the ministry.
Services for the church.
Special service for which remembered.
Ahwa, India, 126
Amick, Joseph 255-256
Amusements, Worldly 223
Amwell Congregation 33
Anklesvar, India 126
Authority of 199
Becker Bicentennial, 196
Conferences Today 195
Delegates to, 193
Deliberations of 191
Early Conferences, 194
Officers of 187
Origin of 54, 187
Standing Committee, 191
Time and Place of, 188, 190
Antietam Congregation 32
Appleman, Jacob 87
Arnold, C. E. 155, 170
Arnold, D. B., 72
Arnold, R. E 153
Ashland College 165
Authors, Brethren 154-158
Baker, N. R., 155
Barnhart, A. B 65, 143
Beahm, I. N. H., 170, 174
Becker, Peter, 3, 23, 35-36
Beer, J. W., Ill, 155
Beery, Adaline Hohf, 155
Beisel, Conrad 25, 93
Berean Bible School, 164
Berkey, Jacob, 87
Berlin Committee 112
Bermudian Congregation, 32
Bethany Bible School 175
Biographical Books, 301
Blough, A. P 83
Blough, J. E 155, 303
Blough, J. M 124, 190
Blough, P. J., 216
Blough, S. S 184
Blue Ridge College 173
Bonsack, C. D., 65
Book and Tract Committee 122
Bourbon College, 161
Bowman Brethren, 99
Bowman, John A 71, 99
Bread and the Cup 244
Brethren's Advocate, 151
Brethren At Work 149
Brethren's Reasons, 298
Brower, David, 82, 89
Brubaker, Henry, 86
Bridgewater College 168
Bright, J. C, 75, 177
Brooklyn Mission 136
Brumbaugh, H. B 256-257
Brumbaugh, I. H 167, 257
Brumbaugh, M. G 11, 155, 295
Bulsar, India 127
Business Relations, 221
Canton Institute, 164
Chicago Mission 135
Child Rescue Committee, 224
Children at Work 151
China Mission, 128
Map of 130
Christian Family Companion, ..148
Christian Greeting, 246
Christian Life 213
Christian Workers, 225
Church, Doctrine of, 238
Church Manual 299
Church of the Brethren
First Members 19
Organization of 18
Church Visits 205
Citronelle College 164
Codorus Congregation 32
Colonial Church, 47
Colonial Congregations, 27
Colonial Leaders, 33
Conewago Congregation, 31
Conestoga Congregation, 29
Congregational Government 203
Council Meetings 204
Coventry Congregation, 29
Creyfcld Congregation 20
Crosswhite, A. G., 178, 190
Crouch, E. M 168, 172
Crumpacker, F. H 128
Culler, D. D., 155, 163
Daleville College 170
Dahanu, India 128
Denton, T. C 142, 170
Davy, H. D., 188
Deacon, The 151
Deeter, W. R., 190, 294
Dickey, L. H 263
Dickey, John P 142, 263
District Historie 301, 303
District Meeting 200
Dove, J. A 196, 216
Douglas, Sarah 159
Dress Reform Committee, 220
Duboy, Abraham 20, 30
Dunkers, The 297
Early, H. C 258-259
Eby, Enoch, 259-260
Education, Colonial 53
Education, Early 159
Educational Board 176
Edwards, Morgan, 56
Elders' Meetings 202
Elizabethtown College 174
Eller, D. N., 142, 170
Ephrata Society 26
Epstein Congregation, 20
Eshelman, M. M. 149, 155
Eyman, Peter, 97
Falken stein, G. N 174, 296
Fahnestock, S. B 169
Far Western Brethren 95
Fercken, G. J 134
Fisher, Frank, 190, 224
Flory, D. C 163
Flory, John S 168, 297
Flory, J. S., 155, 168
Sunday School, 185
France Mission 134
Frantz, Edward, 150, 211
Frantz, Michael 43
Fruitdale College, 164
Fry, Daniel, 120
Fundamental Doctrines 299
Funk, Jacob, 155, 214
Garber, John, 66
Garber, Samuel 66
Garver, D. M., 178, 190
German Baptist Brethren, by
German Baptist Brethren, by
Germantown Academy 54
Germantown Congregation, .... 27
Gibson, D. B., 80, 155
Gibson, Isham, 45, 80
Gish, James R., 260-262
Gish Publishing Fund 154
God, Doctrine of, 233
God's Means of Grace 300
Gommery, John 24
Gospel Messenger, 149
Gospel Preacher, 151
Gospel Visitor 147
Government Relations 214
Graybill, J. F 133
Great Redemption 298
Great Swamp Congregation, ... 30
Great Swatara Congregation, .. 31
Hacker, Lewis, 53, 179
Hays, Daniel 155, 189, 229
Hebron Seminary 169
Heckman, B. F 129
Heckman, John 190, 217
Hendricks, John 71, 83
Hilton, George W 129
Hochmann, Ernest, 17
HofI, E. B., 156, 175
Hoke, George 262-263
Holsinger, George B., 169
Holsinger, H. R 109, 295
Holsinger, L. T 172, 190
Holy Kiss 246
Holy Spirit 234
Hope, Christian 119
Howe, William 216
Ikenberry, L. D 170, 172
Illinois ■ 79, 172
India Mission 123
Map of 127
Jalalpor, India 128
Jesus Christ, Doctrine of, 233
John, E. E 216, 224
John, J. J., 217, 220
Juniata College, 166
Keyser, Peter 60
Kishacoquillas Seminary 161
Kline, John, 263, 264
Kurtz, D. W 156
Kurtz, Henry 160, 264-265
Kurtz, Paul, 163
La Verne College 171
Lear, J. W., 178, 216
Leatherman, Daniel, 44
Leedy Brethren 100
Leckrone, Quincy 156, 163
Lehmer, S. G., 164, 177
Lentz, Geo. W„ 190
Liao Chou, China 130
Libert, Peter 51
Libe, Christian 21, 24
Literary Activity 297
Little Swatara Congregation, .. 31
Love, Doctrine of, 251
Love-Feast 228, 245
Lord's Supper 242
Luther, Martin 15
Mack, Alexander 17, 34, 35
Mack, Alexander, Jr., 38, 39
Major, Sarah 74
Man, Doctrine of 235
Manchester College 170
Martin, George Adam, 34, 55
McCann, S. N 266, 267
McClure, M. J„ 190
McPherson College 169
Metzger, John, 267, 268
Miami Valley Petition, 104
Middletown Valley, 33
Miller, D. L 269-271
Miller, Howard 152, 256
Miller, Jacob 271-272
Miller, J. E 168, 182
Miller, O. W., 161, 162
Miller, R. H., 272-274
Miller, S. J 171, 184
Ministerial Board 210
Minnich, Levi 184
Missionary Visitor, 140
Mission Tour, First, 24
Education for 140
First Board, 121
General Board, 123, 142
Home, 24, 117, 135, 136
Moherman, T. S 156, 170
Mohler, S. S 84, 189
Moomaw, B. F., 274-275
Moore, J. H 275-277
Moore, J. M 142, 277
Mountain Normal, 163
Mt. Morris College 167
Myers, J. T 60, 63
Myers, T. T 20, 211
Naas, John, 21, 36, 37
Nead, Peter 277-279
Neff, James M., 141, 157, 182
Neher, Bertha 157
New Dunkers 96
New Testament Doctrines 299
New Vienna College 161
North Carolina, 71
North Dakota 88
Northkill Congregation 31
Ober, H. K 175, 184
Old Folks' and Orphans' Homes, 223
Old Order Brethren, 101
Oley Congregation 30
Our Sunday School 181
Papers, Church, 147
Parker, I. D 137, 172, 198
Peters, A. B 88, 190
Pfouts, David 62
Pfouts, Michael, 43
Ping Ting Hsien 129
Pipe Creek Congregation 33
Plate, L. A 150
Plattsburg College, 163
Plum Creek Normal, 163
Polity, Church 199
Poor, Homes for 48
Prayer Veil 227
Price, D. E 81, 190
Price, John Jacob 43
Priceton Meetinghouse 30
Primitive Christian 149
Printing Press, Colonial 50
Progressive Brethren 109
Publishing House 152
Quinter, James 279-282
Quinter, Mary N 157, 225
Reber, D. C 175
Record of the Faithful 296
Rites and Ordinances 300
Rothrock, Abraham 84
Rothrock, Edgar 142
Rosenberger, Elizabeth D 157
Rosenberger, I. J 75, 157
Royer, Galen B 144
Royer, J. G., 282-283
Salvation, Doctrine of, 236
Sanger, S. F., 155, 190
Sayler, D. P 283-285
Schwarzenau, 18, 19
Scriptures, Doctrine of 231
Secret Societies 220
Separate People, 249
Seventh Day Baptists, 93
Sharp, S. Z , 286-287
Sherrick, M. M 157
Shively, George, 163
Shively, Jacob, 163
Shou Yang, China 131
Simple Life, 248
Sin, Doctrine of, 236
Sisters' Aid Societies, 224
Smithville College 163
Sower, Christopher, Jr 40-41
Sower, Christopher, Sr., 39-40, 49-51
Spring Creek Normal 163
State Churches, 15
Stein, J. W 167
Stover, W. B., 287-288
Stony Creek 32
Sunday Observances, 226
Sunday Schools 179
Annual Meeting Action 180
Early 179, 180
General Board 183
Sweden Mission 133
Swigart, W. J 61, 214
Switzerland Mission 135
Taylor, I. W 178, 190
Teeter, L. W 288-290
Temperance Committees 216
Thirty-Three Years of Missions, 296
Tract Examining Committee, ..142
Trine Immersion 198
Trinity, Doctrine of 234
Trout, I. B., 182, 190
Tunkers, by Holsinger, 298
Two Centuries 296
Umstad, John H., 60
Urner, Martin, Jr 42
Urner, Martin, Sr 41, 42, 55
Vada, India, 128
Vali, India, 128
Vaniman, A. W 133
Vanitnan, Daniel 290-291
Vyara, India 128
Washington, D. C, Mission 136
Wayland, J. W 157
Westervain Congregation 22
West, Landon 157
West Virginia 72
White Oak Congregation 31
Wieand, A. C, ....175, 182, 184, 190
Williams, J. H. B 143, 178
Wine, A. F 133
Wise, John 264, 291-292
Wolfe, George 292-294
Yoder, C. F 158
Yoder, J. J 144, 190
Young Disciple, 151
Young, E. S., 157, 164, 172
Yount, W. B 168, 177
Zigler, D. H 158, 170, 303
Zinzendorf Synods 55
Zollers, George D 158
Zuck, John M 166
Zug, S. R 60